Ball State gymnastics received a record attendance with 1,564 people for their meet against Florida on Jan. 11 at Irving Gymnasium. DN PHOTO KAITLIN LANGE
GYMNASTICS: Standing crowds could force move to Worthen Arena
If Ball State gymnastics continues to draw as large of a crowd as the team's first meet, a move to Worthen Arena could be in store, said Dan Byrnes, director of sports facilities and recreation services.
Sunday’s meet against the University of Florida brought a record-breaking crowd of 1,564 people to Irving Gym, located in the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
“Normally our crowds are five to six hundred … that’s why we built it the way we did,” Byrnes said.
Remaining 2015 home games:
Date Opponent Time
Jan. 23 Central Michigan 7 p.m.
Feb. 13 Western Michigan 7 p.m.
Feb. 27 Northern Illinois 7 p.m.
With only 600 seats available, nearly 1,000 spectators stood for the duration of the two-hour gymnastics meet.
According to USA Gymnastics, the sport has seen a 28 percent increase in athletes in the past 10 years, reaching 110,000 gymnasts nationwide.
Worthen Arena cannot currently anchor the uneven bars into the floor itself. They must be anchored down with water weights, which both Ball State and Florida coaches felt was not ideal for their athletes. Most gymnasts are used to practicing on anchored uneven bars.
With the ability to anchor the uneven bars, Ball State Athletics and Recreation Services made the joint decision to keep the gymnastics meet versus Florida in its normal facility: Irving Gym.
Ball State plans to replace the Worthen Arena court this summer and include the ability to anchor uneven bars
After these changes have been made, Worthen Arena will become an ideal location for multi-team meets with larger crowds, such as the state gymnastics meet and the MAC championship, Byrnes said.
“We will have the ability to move gymnastics over to this venue and handle more people,” Byrnes said.