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Walk-up survey: How do Duke students feel about the pregame process for men's basketball games?

The chaos that ensued during the 2018 walk-up line created a permanent strain between the line monitors and many Duke students.
The chaos that ensued during the 2018 walk-up line created a permanent strain between the line monitors and many Duke students.

Editor's note: This is part of a series about the Duke men’s basketball walk-up line experience based on a survey conducted by The Chronicle. You can learn more about the methodology and limitations of the survey here, student opinions on the in-game experience here and the reasons people do not go to games here.

The Cameron Crazies have become renowned around the world due to three main factors: their ruthless chants towards the opposition, the over-the-top costumes and Krzyzewskiville. 

While Krzyzewskiville houses students for six weeks as they await the Duke-North Carolina game, undergraduates also flock the grassy patches in front of Cameron Indoor Stadium on every game day. Doors open 90 minutes prior to tip-off and many students will spend entire days—or even nights—waiting for the best seats. 

Here are Duke students’ thoughts on the lining up and pregame experience according to results collected from The Chronicle’s survey:

Lining up outside before the game is a deal-breaker for students who do not go to many games

For students who have attended less than four home games this season, lining up hours before the game is a major turn-off. 

Students that have attended none and one-to-three home games this season represented more than a fifth and more than a third of our sample population, respectively. Fifty-five percent of undergraduates who have yet to attend a basketball game this season and 46 percent of students that had attended one to three games stated that waiting in line before the game was either a four or a five on a five-point scale where the high end meant the factor was a deal-breaker.

Current students who frequently attend games appear to be accustomed to waiting in line, however. Both groups including students that have been to four games or more had less than 20 percent rate waiting in line as a four or five on the survey.

Can students get in 30 minutes before tip-off? An alarming number do not think so

Duke Athletics has struggled to fill the student section this year on numerous occasions, prompting posts from the head line monitors in their K-Ville Nation Facebook Group calling for fans to show up in the final minutes before tip-off.

While many Blue Devil die-hards and tenters are in that group, more than half of the students that have been to less than four games this season are unaware that they can walk into a typical ACC game 30 minutes before tip-off. 

This is especially notable because that same cohort overwhelmingly dislikes waiting outside for hours prior to Duke basketball games. However as shown above, waiting in the cold all day is often not necessary for an average game and getting into a match-up against an unranked opponent is likely not as difficult as some might think. 

Tolerance for standing inside Cameron after doors open decreases with class

Although there is certainly a level of excitement when you get your Duke card swiped at the door and run to find your spot in Section 17, that quickly dies down when you realize that there is still well over an hour before the game begins. 

Standing in place for 90 minutes appears to bother upperclassmen much more than the underclassmen. According to the survey, at least 35 percent of both juniors and seniors rated the need to stand inside Cameron pre-game as a four or five on the same five-point scale as before. On the other hand, first-years and sophomores have a higher tolerance to the pregame standing, as only 12 and 18 percent of those classes, respectively, rated that factor as a deal-breaker. 

The tension between students and line monitors from the 2018 walk-up line is still present

Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of the final UNC walk-up line, which devolved into a drunken mob. Yet, despite the long cooling-off period, it is evident that resentment still lingers towards the line monitors because of the events that occurred that day.

Of the juniors and seniors—freshmen and sophomores in 2018—just 63 and 70 percent, respectively, feel that the line monitors make the process of attending games easier. In comparison, more than three-quarters of underclassman believe the line monitors help the process of attending games run smoothly.  

Another campus demographic affected by the UNC walk-up line were those students in Greek Life. A mere 64 percent of students in fraternities and sororities agreed with the sentiment that the line monitors make the process of attending games easier. 

The Chronicle also asked students if they would be more or less likely to attend games if the line monitors did not exist. Twenty-seven percent of students in Greek Life said they would go to more games and just 10 percent said they would go to less. 

When looking by class, only the juniors reiterated their anti-line monitor sentiment. All of the other classes saw less likely as a plurality compared to more likely. Of the juniors, however, 32 percent said they’d be more likely to attend games if the line monitors did not exist, while 19 percent said they’d be less likely to attend. 

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