For three years running, Rutgers Wrestling has been a top five leader in attendance. For 2017-18, the Knights were the fourth best draw in college wrestling.
The three teams in front of Rutgers - and this should be a surprise to no one - were Iowa (8,996), Penn State (7,693) and Ohio State (6,681). RU averaged 4,680 fans for its seven matches this past season (including Maryland at HPSS) and averaged 5,070 for its six home duals at the RAC.
Rutgers opened its home RAC season in December with a record-setting crowd against Iowa. There were 6,754 fans who came through the doors that night. But the record only lasted 44 days until late January and the Penn State match.
The match was announced as a sellout as 8,321 fans packed the RAC. It was an emotional night with national runner up Nick Suriano facing his former team.
With over 2.000 season tickets sold, the third year in a row where more season tickets were sold than the year before, the $100,000 challenge was well in hand. An anonymous donor pledged $125 for every ticket sold over 1,200. The money would be used to honor the late Sam Cali in the naming of a Rutgers assistant coach’s office in the new RWJBarnabas Health Performance Center. Easy money!
In addition to the Iowa and Penn State matches, there were over 5,000 in attendance for the January 7 match against Ohio State.
A record 23 schools averaged over 1,000 per match. That tops last year’s record of 19 with that attendance. Iowa leads the nation with the top average for the 12th year in a row. Eight Big Ten schools (in blue in the chart below) are among the top 25.
Attendance data was compiled by TheOpenMat and Mat Talk Online.
While Rutgers wrestling season tickets won’t go on sale for a while (likely June/July) and the schedule won’t be announced until later (probably in August), you can still get your name on the list for season tickets for 2018-19 by clicking here.
Rutgers returns three national qualifiers from this past season in Nick Suriano, John Van Brill, and Nick Gravina. The Knights also return three-time All-American Anthony Ashnault who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after sitting out this past season.
Best fans, best environment. Ya gotta be there.