It Puts the People in the ChairsPosted by cwilliams on October 18th, 2011
One of the things I most enjoy about college basketball is the often-huge discrepancy between the powerhouses and the bottom-dwellers. This is most apparent in NCAA attendance figures. So, while BYU averaged 18,714 fans per game in 2011, Colgate averaged 628. Colgate’s total home attendance of 2011 was 7,537. Statistically speaking, BYU doubled Colgate’s entire 2011 season attendance in one home game. This is not to pick on Colgate at all, as there are many schools in this exact situation, and most comparisons of mid-majors to big-time programs will be lopsided in such a way. Today, I’ll examine the Big 12 attendance rankings of 2011. When you read this, remember that these statistics are more than just numbers. They tell a story and describe a season.
The following list shows each Big 12 schools 2010-11 home average and total home attendance. Attendance figures courtesy of NCAA.
- Kansas: Average attendance – 16,436. Total attendance – 295,856.
- Texas: Average attendance – 13, 669. Total attendance – 246,044.
- Kansas State: Average attendance – 12,652. Total attendance – 227,738.
- Iowa State: Average attendance – 12,110. Total attendance – 230,097.
- Missouri: Average attendance – 11, 112. Total attendance – 200,022.
- Oklahoma State: Average attendance – 10,447. Total attendance – 167,144.
- Texas A&M: Average attendance – 9,000. Total attendance – 153,001.
- Oklahoma: Average attendance – 8,563. Total attendance – 137,013.
- Texas Tech: Average attendance – 8,513. Total attendance – 153,231.
- Baylor: Average attendance – 6,994. Total attendance – 125,899.
So, what do these figures really say? In my mind, a multitude of things. Kansas loves basketball. You knew this. But did you know the Jayhawks averaged more fans per game than ten NBA teams? Texas benefits from being in a large metropolis. While a good amount of students attend Longhorn hoop games, their student section does not appear as staggering compared to the likes of Kansas’s, K-State’s, or Mizzou’s. Iowa State basketball continues to have high attendance figures despite their mediocre showing on the court. Could Cyclone fans be the most loyal and least fickle fans in the Big 12? Oklahoma saw a decrease of 2,087 in reported attendance from the 2010 season. This can most likely be attributed to the meltdown of the program and the early departure of many of the Sooners’ stars. Lastly, Baylor continues to be the Tampa Bay Rays of the Big 12. They were bottom-dwellers in 2010 in terms of attendance, the same season they appeared in the Elite Eight. When teams have successful postseasons, the attendance reward is seen the most in the next season. So, if the Bears made the Elite Eight in 2010, they should see an increased attendance in 2011 (with raised expectations comes raised attendance). Unfortunately, Scott Drew’s team saw a decrease in attendance.
Note — It is important to realize that, sometimes, attendance numbers are skewed. So, while there is a difference between reported attendance and actual attendance (this article is based off actual figures), it’s still a strong source for examining attendance trends.