I have written several articles lately about ACC officiating bias. Here is an article that talks about how ACC basketball game attendance is dropping. IMO the two subjects are related. The article explains:
As a whole, the ACC is averaging 9,406 fans through Wednesday. It would be the lowest average for the league since the 1984-1985 season and the first time it has been lower than 10,000 since the 1988-1989 season. If those figures don’t drastically improve, it would be the fourth consecutive year the ACC’s attendance numbers declined.
The ACC and Pacific-12 are the only leagues that have seen their attendance figures drop in every year since 2008.
Not only do we seem to have Pro Wrestling-like predictability when it comes to officiating and outcomes, we have a Pro Wrestling-like storyline cultivated throughout the season by ESPN, culminating every season with the ridiculous overhyping of the two (or three if they get their wish) UNC-Duke matchups. This hyperfocus comes at the expense of the rest of the league and the long-range viability of the ACC basketball product itself.
One way to evaluate how the league’s fans as a whole feel about the ACC basketball product is to look at the demand for ACC Tournament tickets. As recently as ten years ago an ACC Tournament ticket book was a hot item. Twenty years ago there were none to be found on the open market, and hadn’t been for decades. Today, you can’t even get face value for them.
Perhaps there are other reasons for the ACC basketball’s growing attendance crisis, but IMO this trend will not reverse until referee bias is dealt with and each school is treated equally by the ACC office.