Remember the days when a basketball game at Cincinnati was a great road trip, when University of Louisville fans made more noise in UC’s rotating venues than the home team? They may be returning soon, or at least until Mick Cronin returns the Bearcats to be in a more competitive mode. According to one UC blog, the Bearcats have seen their basketball attendance fall for the fourth straight season:

UC is averaging 8,477 fans per game this season, the lowest average in the 19 years the Bearcats have played in Fifth Third Arena and a 23.3 percent decline from the 11,059 that UC averaged in 2004-05, the last year that Bob Huggins was the head coach and the year in which the Bearcats made their most recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament. That figure is down four percent from last year’s 8,831, which was the previous low at Fifth Third.

“Am I concerned?,” said UC athletic director Mike Thomas. “No, I’m not. I’m actually excited about the future. I think what Mick and the kids have done this year, what the future looks like with the kids on board, the kids that are coming back and the kids that he has committed for next year, I think all arrows are pointed in the right direction.”

Interesting, the athletic director all but admits that fan loyalty hinges on the team’s up and downs. Obviously, lots of bandwagon jumpers in Cincinnati. The jumping off and on has been apparent in football for many years, where U of L fans actually outnumbered UC fans at some games.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.