Men’s Basketball Average Attendance Posts Fifth-Best Increase In Division I
Penn State men’s basketball is heavily overshadowed by a number of the school’s other athletic programs on campus. Programs like football, women’s volleyball, and the rising men’s hockey team have garnered a significant portion of the school’s total attendance figures. Men’s basketball, a program that has struggled to fill up the Bryce Jordan Center in recent years, consistently ranked in the lower portion of the school’s total attendance figures. With numerous promotional events being held throughout the season, along with the price of student tickets continuing to dwindle, it seemed Penn State was getting desperate to bring fans into the BJC.
However, things may be looking up for the Nittany Lions in terms of fan interest, as the average attendance per home game increased substantially from 2013-14, ranking fifth in Division I.
The average attendance per home game throughout the 2014-15 season increased by 1,787, with 8,044 attendees per game during the 2014-15 season compared to 6,257 per in 2013-14. This bodes well for a program that priced student season tickets at $40, a paltry sum compared to the asking prices for football and men’s hockey — which run at $218 and $112, respectively.
There were a number of reasons that factored into the team’s attendance boost. D.J. Newbill playing his final season, the incredible 12-1 start heading into conference play, the packed lineup of promotions for students and fans, and the relatively low price of season tickets all played a significant role in drawing larger crowds. The team will look to capitalize on a successful season attendance-wise by continuing to offer low prices for student season tickets during the 2015-16 season, along with slashing prices for single game tickets. All non-conference home games will be free, while all Big Ten home games for the 2015-16 season will cost $24.
Penn State men’s basketball’s attendance jump in the past year ranked higher than those of prominent basketball schools like North Carolina, SMU, and Texas. It also ranked the highest in that category for all teams in the Big Ten.
The numbers are certainly a starting point for the program as it continue to make strides in making itself more appealing and popular among students and fans. More fans equal better atmosphere, which leads to higher profile recruits, which in turn, leads to more wins.