UNLV pack the mack


UNLV Faces Challenges On How To Permanently “Pack The Mack”



“U…N…L…V UNLV Go, Fight, Win!” shouts the crowd as the Star of Nevada Marching Band pumps up the atmosphere, and the Runnin’ Rebels cruise down the court. The UNLV Men’s Basketball home game introductions at the 35,000 square foot, 19,522 seat Thomas N’ Mack Center, always award their audience with a jazzy pre-game show. From the cheerleader backflips to the fireworks blasting off from both sides of the court with Hey Reb racing down the sidelines, the pregame show encourages Rebel guests to get out of their seats and on their feet.


UNLV Runnin' Rebels Basketball "Pack The Mack" | Franchise Sports Media

The Runnin’ Rebels are currently 6-3 and place 2nd in the Mountain West Conference, however, the red stands aren’t always filled with the Rebel faithful. UNLV faces the challenge to “Pack the Mack” when they are not competing against high ranking teams. The San Diego State Aztecs game served as a great example.

There are still too many Aztecs fans, said Robby Dougherty, a long time UNLV supporter. “We need more UNLV fans to show up for more than just a big game against San Diego State. The fans got loud but every other game that we are not playing an UNLV Runnin' Rebels Basketball "Pack The Mack" | Franchise Sports Mediaundefeated team that is No. 4 in the country, there is hardly anybody here. We need more fans to show up and have an atmosphere like this every game.”

In 2018 UNLV played a total of 18 games, averaged 10,093 attendees per game and 181,676 for the entire year. In 2019 the Runnin’ Rebels played 17 games, averaged 8,639 attendees per game and 146,867 for the year. Over the last decade, the Rebels have seen a steady decline in attendance at home games.

“Tonight makes me think back to when I was running up and down this court! The atmosphere was amazing. This is what we need to see from UNLV going forward” said, Marcus Banks, a former NBA basketball player who played with UNLV as a point guard from 2001-2002. “This is what I’m used to, this place filled with energy. The fans going crazy, you see red, silver and black all over the place. The energy is amazing in the building; this is what we need. This is UNLV tradition.”


Pack the mackUNLV Athletics has announced 20 new fan enhancements to not only give their fans a better experience but to help increase ticket revenue. These enhancements include a new student section, new band location, and a ton of opportunities for season ticket holders.

“The atmosphere was amazing this game,” states Manny Lopez. “We come to every game as season ticket holders, and we’ve experienced a decrease in the crowd with every game we attend. We do like the new guaranteed giveaways that we bought when we purchased our season tickets, though.”

The crowd is usually humming with crickets. Every attendee came with a roaring fire for the home game against the Aztecs.


“The atmosphere was electric! it was awesome!” states Tony Carrison. “We have season tickets, and my wife has been coming since 1962. I have been coming since they were playing at the convention center. I knew in my heart after watching the guys play and improve week after week defensively that they would keep it close against the Aztecs.”


I asked some fans for their opinions on what needs to be improved to “pack the Mack”


“The atmosphere was amazing the past few home games, states Elaine Coroneos. “They need to let the band play more. When the band plays, the place goes crazy. Everyone is on their feet with them all the time. Go, Band! Go, Band!”

New head coach T.J Otzelberger has stepped up to the plate in helping the Thomas N’ Mack fill the seats with a tough, gritty, defensive playing style. The Rebels have actually exceeded the national expectations thus far in the season.

“Well, you know it’s not so much different from when I played said, Marcus Banks. It’s the same culture that we are trying to bring back and throw in the guys this year. We are here to support whatever coach T.J Otzelberger has going on. Here is the thing, I want all the fans to get behind him. It is a team effort, and we enjoy seeing the arena looking like this.”


The Runnin’ Rebels will match up with the Colorado State Rams, ranked 5th in the Mountain West, in an away game on Saturday, February 1st at 1 pm.

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