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Big Ten/Rutgers Attendance: Things are looking up

With the men averaging 4,400 against the St. Peter's and FDUs of the world, the RAC was looking - and sounding - pretty sad. Then enter our new friends from the Midwest. Life is good again.

Yes, those are actual people in the stands
Yes, those are actual people in the stands

Men's Basketball

The concrete echoed as the ball bounced on the hardwood.  It was not a hard ticket to get if you wanted to go to a game.  And the results through the first seven non-conference games did not generate a lot of interest in the Knights. A 4-3 record at home does not inspire confidence.  Welcome Chicago's Big Ten Team.

It was the second largest crowd of the year to date, 5,651.  The opener against GW drew a mere 173 more people.  The result was the same - a loss - but it was a sign of better things to come.  Three B1G games and the season average is up to 5,060, and 6,599 in conference play.  The win over the Nitty Kitties was the largest crowd this season at 7,158.

Women's Basketball

Perrennial power Tennessee was the big draw to date at the RAC.  The mid-December game drew a season-high 4,345 fans.  But just as the B1G upped the men's numbers, so they did for the women.  Averaging 2,055 per game before conference play (including that Tennessee game), the women's average attendance rose to 2,179 with the games against Iowa and Michigan.  Conference average is now 2,548.

The women have a huge contest on Thursday at the RAC against No. 10 Maryland.  The winter break for students is still on so the student section may not be a factor.  The game, though, should draw well, possibly with Terp fans heading north.


Yeah, we're adding this to the mix for the first time.  The two matches at the RAC - both Big Ten matches - have drawn 8,056 fans, an average of 4,028.  Last year, wrestling's total home attendance was 4,518 for six matches.  Overall, including a match against Hofstra at the Barn that drew 845, this season's average attendance is 2,967.  Earlier in the season, with season ticket sales going well, Rutgers was hoping to be able to crack the Top Ten, or even the Top 5, nationally for attendance.  Last year, six Big Ten teams were in the Top Ten for attendance.  But the averages from last year make that goal look very reachable.  With the Nitty Kitties coming in Friday, and a large crowd anticipated, the numbers should go up.

2013-14 NCAA Attendance Leaders

Rank School (# of Home Duals) Average
Iowa (7) 8835
Penn State     (8) 7646
Minnesota (5) 3462
Iowa State (4) 3255
Oklahoma St (8) 2713
Ohio State (4) 2386
Lehigh (7) 2290
Nebraska (6) 1993
Northern Iowa (7) 1766
Oklahoma (4) 1443

Schadenfraude time

Basketball "on the banks" has struggled - at least until last Sunday!  And so had attendance.  But it isn't like all of our B1G brethren are packing in the fans to their games, either. Our friends in Chicago, with the 13th largest arena, do pretty well.  Their attendance at home thus far actually fills Welsh-Ryan to 79.6% capacity.  The RAC for men's hoops comes in at 63.3% capacity.  And our good buddies in Happy Valley fill Bryce Jordan to about 47.6%....for a 12-4 team.  They do love their hoops out in State College.