Attendance continues to soar in college basketball
With the popularity in college basketball continuing to rise, attendance records have continued to fall.
The NCAA recently released its figures for the 2000-01 season and in Division
I, the men topped 24 million* for the second consecutive season. The women posted
an increase for the 17th consecutive season.
While the men didn’t break the 1999-2000 record (24,281,774), six conferences
set record highs, including the Mid-American Conference.
Since the 1997-98 season, the MAC reported record highs for home contests every
season and had 698,286 fans attend 180 games or sessions for the 2000-01 season.
At CMU, the men’s attendance has risen every year during the same period
and during last season’s MAC Championship campaign, 54,646 fans attended
14 home games.
“I’m extremely excited about the attendance rising,” CMU men’s
head coach Jay Smith said. “I was also pleased with the attendance at Rose
last year and this shows how popular college basketball is.”
“I’m looking forward to next year,” Smith added.
In women’s Division I, attendance topped six million** for the first time
as 19 conferences posted all-time highs, including the MAC.
The women’s home attendance in the MAC was 147,395 for 162 games or sessions.
At CMU, since the 1997-98 season, the attendance has been more stable than on
the men’s side until last season where the figure jumped 3,182 in two fewer
“A big part is because of the success of the program,” CMU Associate
Athletics Director Gary Friedman said.
Friedman said the marketing department prepared for the eventual success of
the basketball program.
“Certainly a big plus is the success,” Friedman said.
“A large part is Jay Smith and his staff marketing his program and things
put in place by the marketing department.”
The CMU women’s attendance for last season was 13,596 for 11 home games.
For the upcoming season, the CMU men’s team will look to continue their
success by defending their conference crown and 20-8 record. The women will
look to rebuild and improve their 4-24 record from last season under new coach
“It’s been wonderful to witness the growth of women’s hoops the past 20 years,” Kleinfelter said. “We’re hoping to build a successful program and bring some more fans to Rose Arena.”
MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst was unavailable for comment.
* Total attendance
** Home attendance only
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