Basketball attendance falls in 2009-2010, but Pack remain in top 25

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.

ACC Now: Heels, Pack among top 25 in attendance

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 week by the NCAA.

North Carolina ranked fifth in Division I 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) 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.

Attendance drops slightly in college basketball

College basketball 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 the NCAA 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 in John Calipari’s 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.

ACC & Other College Basketball Fans NCS Basketball

11 Responses to Basketball attendance falls in 2009-2010, but Pack remain in top 25

  1. burnbarn 05/13/2010 at 12:34 PM #

    It seems I remember reading that at one point back in the 80s that more people had watched college basketball games at Reynolds than any other arena in the country. I am sure it not that way now. One thing that is certain is the problems around NC State do not include the fans.

  2. ncsu1 05/13/2010 at 1:20 PM #

    Comparing the team attendance numbers among the NCAA, and then comparing that success of each team, we have the most supportive fans in college basketball. Very few teams are going to be putting out the product we are putting out (YEAR AFTER YEAR) and still average 13k.

  3. ruffles31 05/13/2010 at 1:30 PM #

    I have said this to many friends. Herb left one year too late. If so, State would have been in a very good position to get Bruce Pearl. He would have relished the chance to coach at State. He would have loved to coach against Duke and UNC consistently.

    I am a HUGE fan of his in Tennessee and the Volunteers have been to as many Sweet 16s in his 5 years at the helm (3 appearances with their first Elite 8 berth ever this past year) than they had been in all of the years combined. He has completely energized a fanbase that really didn’t care much for men’s basketball. Of course UT loves football and women’s basketball, but MBB was probably the 4th most important sport in Knoxville after football, WBB, and recruiting/spring football. Not anymore. Pearl has done a great job. He took a bunch of guys his first year, who had never sniffed the NCAA tournament, and got a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    The coaching job he did this past year IMO was deserving of national coach of the year. He had to deal with the arrest of 4 players on some serious charges, kicking the best player off the team, and suspending the others from anywhere from 5-10 conference games. He got a team of 9 guys (only 6 scholarship) to beat #1 Kansas and was within 1 FT of making it to the Final Four.

  4. rtpack24 05/13/2010 at 3:39 PM #

    We are probably the only team in top 25 that has not been to the big dance in 4 yrs. We have the best fans in the country. Who knows what might happen if we were to actually start winning. Bruce Pearl did a great job last year. However, the way he runs his program I am glad he does not coach here.

  5. packbackr04 05/13/2010 at 3:59 PM #

    i would love to see the statistics of attendance figures compared with winning percentages for those top 25 teams since 2000. we would have to be getting the worst ROI of any fans in the country in terms of wins(by a long long long long long way).

  6. ruffles31 05/13/2010 at 4:13 PM #

    rtpack24, please expound on how Pearl runs his program. Is he in any trouble with the NCAA? No. Is there a perception of anything going on illegal in the program? Not to my knowledge. My brother-in-law and sister live in Knoxville as Kentucky grads, and trust me, I would know if anything illegal was going on by Pearl. As UK grads, they don’t like Pearl at all. I love how he goes toe to toe with Calipari and needles him sometimes.

    I do agree that a couple of the players can come off a little thuggish every now but I don’t know what you would be talking about.

  7. Wulfpack 05/13/2010 at 5:19 PM #

    “However, the way he runs his program I am glad he does not coach here.”

    So, how does he “run” his program? Tell us.

    I would LOVE to have Bruce Pearl.

  8. rtpack24 05/13/2010 at 7:48 PM #

    ruffles31 you would know if he was doing anything illegal because your sister and brother-in-law live in Knoxville? I am glad he is at UT and not here. I will leave it at that.

  9. Wulfpack 05/14/2010 at 6:37 AM #

    “I am glad he is at UT and not here. I will leave it at that.”

    If you can’t offer any specifics you can’t expect any of us to believe you.

    Bruce Pearl has transformed a once dormant Tennessee program into a perennial top-10 program. It’s no secret. There is serious energy surrounding that program, and Vols fans love him for it. So if he’s doing something wrong, don’t you think it would have already have come to the surface?

  10. sockerne1 05/14/2010 at 8:38 AM #

    How is Bruce Pearl able to accomplish all this with Adidas as a sponsor?

  11. packalum44 05/15/2010 at 8:04 AM #

    If you read this blog enough you’ll learn that RTP is pretty knowledgeable. For example, he alluded to Seth Curry transferring to Duke at least a week before it was public knowledge (if my memory serves me correctly).

    Knoxville is a small interconnected place. I too have friends from there who CLAIM they are “in the know”. I haven’t heard anything but RTP, give me a hint and maybe I’ll go dig around.

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