Between the Lines: College Basketball Attendance

Each week, Fanalytical delivers three quick reads of curated research and best practices to help Athletics’ leaders engage their fans, improve fan experience, and boost revenue.

This Week: College Basketball Attendance

We’re just a few weeks away from the beginning of conference championship tournaments. For the sixth straight year, college football attendance declined among FBS schools–will college basketball follow in it’s footsteps?

Pitt’s Predicament

The “Oakland Zoo,” the University of Pittsburgh’s student cheering section, has been relatively docile in recent years. In December, a third of the way through its 2016-2017 season, Pitt already had five home games account for five of 11 lowest-attended regular-season games in Peterson Event Center’s 14-year history. The decline in ticket sales have a wide-range of explanations from competing with professional teams, to hiring a new head coach.

Tenting Up, Attendance Down

Despite the fact that tenting for the University of North Carolina home game last week was “Crazier” than ever, undergraduate student attendance to Duke basketball home games have been declining. Luckily for Duke, graduate students have increased which has kept the stadium full. So how do you explain the decrease in undergrad attendance at one of the most popular college basketball teams in the country? Less marquee games in an expanded ACC conference?

Let the Madness Begin

This week, the NCAA released the first sneak peek of this year’s March Madness bracket with the current top-16 seeds. “The coaches association suggested a bracket preview, in part because its members had noticed the success of the College Football Playoff system, which issues weekly rankings during the final stretch of the season.” A lot can change between now and Selection Sunday on March 12, but the NCAA is hoping this boosts engagement.

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