When Kieran Mullins put in the game-winner on Saturday in OT against Ohio State, there were folks watching on BTN along with the 3,598 in the stands at High Point Solutions Stadium. It was the largest home crowd for Rutgers this season.
That doesn’t quite compare to the 14,353 at Maryland last weekend to watch the Twerps win the Big Ten regular season title over Johns Hopkins. But consider that it was Maryland-Hopkins....backyard brawl....for a title....in a lax hotbed....and Hopkins doesn’t do anything else. So the Rutgers number was a pretty good count.
The Ohio State game - senior day for a team that wasn’t going to make the Big Ten tourney - was the largest crowd of the season at home for the Knights with the second largest being the 3,458 versus Maryland.
And for the season, Rutgers averaged 1,800 per home game. Which puts it in the middle of the conference. Considering RU had two home games with just over 600 people at each (including it being 24 degrees for the Princeton contest), that’s very good.
At Maryland, the 14,353 who watched the Hopkins game was the largest crowd for a Maryland regular season game since 1989. That’s 28 years.
And if you haven’t figured it out yet, yes, this is another post on....attendance.
Sit back, enjoy, and learn.
Head Coach Brian Brecht had a pretty good team last year. And it garnered a lot of attention (if not an NCAA berth) for its play. And it drew pretty well. In 2016, the Knights pulled in an average of 1500 for seven dates at home. And with the excitement generated by that performance, this year’s numbers went up by 300 per game.
And it made Rutgers one of the top lacrosse draws in the nation. Currently at No. 12 in the InsideLacrosse.com rankings, the Knights are the eighth best in attendance among the top 15 ranked teams (yes, we limited the search).
And as seen from the Big Ten numbers, had Michigan been ranked, it would have been near the top.
Lacrosse is a fast growing sport. The Maryland area always had strong lacrosse, so there is little wonder that Maryland, JHU, Towson, and Loyola would not only have good teams but would also draw good crowds. Growing up, Long Island was the area that had the best lacrosse that I knew of in the NY-NJ metro area. As a kid, the only high school in New Jersey that I knew of with lacrosse was Fair Lawn. Now, there are over 200 in the state. And like wrestling, student-athletes go to lacrosse games.
What’s it cost to see a top-tier lacrosse game?
For the record, in 2016, Rutgers pulled in $54,651 in ticket sales for men’s lacrosse. By comparison, Maryland took in $79,159 for the same season.
And how did they - and others - get that ticket money? How much is a ticket to a ranked lacrosse team’s game worth?
This past season, Rutgers charged $10.00 to the public for general admission seating. Among some selected ranked teams, at the far low end of the spectrum were Notre Dame and North Carolina which each charged just $5.00.
Johns Hopkins’ figure is an average; some games are $12, some at $10, depending on the opponent. Maryland also charged more ($15) for the Johns Hopkins game. good move!
Michigan used to charge $6 for a ticket, but this year went free. Next year they move into a new facility and the plkan is to still go with no cost. Duke and Penn State don’t have figures. It appears, from their websites, that there is no charge fir admission, although I could not confirm that.
As with anything, people will pay if they believe it is worth it. There are some folks who wouldn’t go to a lacrosse game (or football or basketball or any event) even if it was free. But if you’re a fan of the sport, or just a sports fan, lacrosse is a pretty good bargain.