Although NC State’s attendance numbers fell in 2009-2010, the Wolfpack was still able to remain in the top-25 nationally and pull in more than 13,000 fans per contest. Make no mistake, less fans in the seats (even if it’s less than 300 per contest) is a bad thing. But considering the struggles of the basketball team this past season, things could have been worse. Last season was the 11th straight season the Pack has been in the top-25 in attendance (thanks RBC Center). The highest ranking for the Pack in the stretch was seventh in 2000. The NCAA has a ton of attendance numbers here.
Although North Carolina and N.C. State saw their home men’s basketball crowds shrink in 2009-10, both remained among the top 25 in Division I attendance according to figures released this weekÂ by the NCAA.
North Carolina ranked fifth inÂ Division IÂ with an average of 17,786 fans per home date. N.C. State’s average of 13,184 fans ranked 24th.
Kentucky (24,111), Syracuse (22,152), Louisville (19,397) and Tennessee (19,168)Â were the four schools ahead of North Carolina in the rankings.
According to numbers released by the NCAA, attendance numbers across the country fell. More than 27 million fans attended division one games in 2009-2010, down more than 227,000 from 2008-2009. Below is a report from Sporting News.
CollegeÂ basketballÂ fans are still flocking to men’s games by the millions.
They’re just not setting records.
With 334 men’s teams playing 5,251 games last season, both all-time highs, more than 27 million people attended Division I games – the fourth-highest total ever but a slight decrease from 2008-09.
Some of the numbers released by theÂ NCAAÂ on Wednesday looked familiar.
The top five home drawing cards were Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, Tennessee and North Carolina. The Wildcats had an average attendance of 24,111 at 18 home games inÂ JohnÂ Calipari’sÂ first season. Syracuse was next at 22,152 in 19 home games.
Either Kentucky or Syracuse has led the nation in home attendance for each of the past 34 seasons, but Kentucky has been No. 1 each of the past five seasons and 14 times in the last 15. Kentucky also led the nation in total attendance at home, road and neutral court games, playing 38 times in front of 724,145 fans.
But even the Wildcats couldn’t offset the decline in other areas.
Last season’s Division I total of 27,539,459 was down 227,652, or 133 fans per game, from the previous season.
The fact that Kentucky or Syracuse has led the nation in each of the past 34 seasons is a testament not only to the size of the arenas those teams play in but the continued success of the programs and the dedication of fans. The other impressive school on the list, at least in my opinion, is Tennessee. Bruce Pearl has done an amazing job making basketball relevant in a football-crazy town.
NC State should push into the top-20 next year just based on the excitement which will start to build heading into the season. If things start well and the Pack has momentum heading into conference play, don’t be surprised to see the Pack in the top-10 by year’s end. The RBC Center holds nearly 20,000 for basketball and if the team wins fans will show up.
For those interested in the entire report, go here.