Kuglers boring and terribly ineffective offense and losing year after year had much more of a negative effect on attendance than the tailgating rules. Had Kugler enjoyed success similar to Price’s early years, most fans would have continued to support the football program and attend games.
The slide started in 2006 and continues to this day. At the end of the Price era we were hemorrhaging fans. Alot of fans left after it became apparent Stull wouldn't hold Price accountable. Letting Price have seven straight losing seasons caused alot of fans to leave. Kugler burnt the house down rebuilt it and in year two went to a bowl. There was excitement and of we would have kept winning attendance would have been OK stabilized around 28k a game. That 2014 season is the last time I had good memories about UTEP athletics. I remember after the UTSA game, the 10,000 Miner fans in the Alamodome stayed and the team took a victory lap. It was one of those goose bump moments and I thought we had turned the corner. In the end that was the only winning season we've had in the last 15 years. Then we hired a mental midget as AD and he hired the worst coach in the the FBS and we all know the rest.
I think if we make the commitment and win in football fans will come back.
I think attendance in basketball will be way harder to build back. Most of the season ticket base is older than 60. Many of the loyal fans have died off. Last year we were down to 4,500/ game. This year it probably would have been 3,500. It's hard to get people excited playing in a one bid league where the regular season it irrelevant. Years of over inflating our basketball tradition certainly hasn't helped things.