Wrestling Team Drew Nation’s Second-Highest Attendance
Pennsylvania is wrestling country. The Nittany Lions’ wrestling program continued to receive strong support from its passionate fan base this season, ranking second in the NCAA in attendance, following closely behind Iowa, the leader for nine straight seasons.
Penn State brought in 54,221 fans this season, trailing Iowa by slightly over 1,000 in total attendance. Penn State averaged 7,747 fans per match, a number bolstered by a season-high 15,967 for the showdown in the Bryce Jordan Center against Iowa. These two programs stood head and shoulders above all other NCAA programs in wrestling attendance, as the next-highest team, Minnesota, brought in 29,681 total fans.
The Lions fought through a tough, yet still remarkable season, rebuilding after four straight national titles. They collected 11 wins and only four losses, going 5-2 on home turf. They were competitive in every single match, proving they could still wrestle with any team in the nation. Despite a relatively disappointing team showing at the Big Ten Championships, the Lions still had a respectable season and have a chance to build on that in this weekend’s NCAA Championships.
The emergence of Penn State wrestling under head coach Cael Sanderson has brought more attention than ever to the program. Pennsylvania is considered by many wrestling fans to be the wrestling capital of the nation, so it’s only right that so many fans descend upon Happy Valley for the matches. Even during a “down year” after four straight Big Ten Championships, Penn State wrestling fans remain incredibly passionate about their team. Expect more of the same in years to come.