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Nine SEC Schools In Top 50 For Hoops Attendance

The NCAA has released the attendance figures for the 2011-12 basketball season and the football-first SEC is well-represented.  Not surprisingly, national champion Kentucky led the nation in per-game attendance with 23,821 blue-clad crazies spinning the turnstiles at Rupp Arena for each home outing.

Below is the national Top 10 followed by the rest of the SEC’s squads:


1.  Kentucky — 23,721

2.  Syracuse — 23,618

3.  Louisville — 21,503

4.  North Carolina — 20,159

5.  Wisconsin — 17,181

6.  Creighton — 16,655 (Yes, Creighton.)

7.  Tennessee — 16,543

8.  Ohio State — 16,511

9.  Indiana — 16,462

10.  Kansas — 16,445

18.  Vanderbilt — 13,698

23.  Arkansas — 13,096

27.  Alabama — 12,484

32.  Missouri — 11.830

37.  Florida — 10,434

45.  South Carolina — 8,868

50.  LSU — 8,661

60.  Mississippi State — 8,019

71.  Texas A&M — 7,383

74.  Georgia — 7,079

81.  Auburn — 6,502

91.  Ole Miss — 5,770


By conference, SEC teams averaged 11,513 fans per game, second only to the Big Ten (12,868).  The Big 12 (11,057), Big East (10,881) and ACC (9,876) lagged behind the SEC.

Football may come first in the Dixie, but SEC fans turn out in big numbers to watch hoops as well.  In total, SEC schools sold more than 2.4 million tickets to home basketball games last season.



The most impressive school on this list is Tennessee. UT had a mediocre team and a first-year coach, yet the Vol Nation still filled up Thompson-Boling. UT is in the top ten in attendance in football (for a 5-7 team), men's basketball (for an NIT team), and women's basketball. No other school can come close to that!


NOTE:  While many schools on this list use PAID attendance (includes no-shows, etc.) Missouri uses ACTUAL attendance (thus, if there if a blizzard and only 7000 show up for a game vs. Miss. Valley St., it's reported as 7000, vs. at say, Iowa State or KState were that 7000 would be reported as 11,000+ even though only 7000 actually went to the game).  Frankly, I think it; stupid that Mizzou reports this way when others don;t; however it was started when Qunin Snyder was coach and it was the "Duke" way (of course, Duke;s crackerbox seats 7000)


blue clad nuts - that can sound so wrong.



 @JohnVol Creighton has 4206 undergrads, yep they actually are small enough those six at the end of the 4200 stand out, and still put ....... 16,655 per game in the stands, each game. Thats about 4 times the number of butts in the stands than undergrads. Wow. I mean Wow. Tennessee had a very good year, as you have pointed out, and with the season they had, yeah ku-do's, but Tennessee's fraction of the number of undergraduates as butts in seats versus FOUR TIMES as many for Creighton qualifies as the most impressive? Come on, not even close. Still impressive, but you gotta give Creighton their due,  impressive.


I'd like to see MU let people migrate to the no show seats near the court that the big boosters leave unused during the week. I understand that driving 2-2 1/2 hours one way from StL or KC for mid=week games that start after 7pm is pretty tough on a work night, but why not let other fans come on down? If nothing else, it will help the rest of us keep up with the student section!


A little honesty among lots of larceny can't be a bad thing. I'd keep that counting method just to be different. Do those 4,000 no shows make any noise when the team is on the court? Do the banners hanging from the rafters sway any when those not there, but paid up, cheer?


Who cares what the numbers say,? What matters is whose butt is in the seat at game time. Let the accountants worry about the actual ticket count.


 @OldArmy Creighton is so popular in Omaha since they have no pro sports (plus the arena is pretty new and the Blue jays have been pretty good since it opened).  It; trendy in Omaha to go to Creighton games right now.  Not saying it;s not impressive; however.  It's just a lot easier to draw from the 800k in the Omaha area for a bball game vs. a nobody on a weeknight than it is in a typical college town 60-100 miles from a major metro area vs. a nobody on a weeknight even with a larger student body. Marquette doing in nearly as well in a (slightly) larger meto area WITH an NBA team (and UW Milwaukee also a Div. 1 team) is just as impressive.


 @OldArmy Good for Creighton, but you missed the point. UT supports all of its sports teams to a degree seen nowhere else. That's all I'm saying. 


For example...LSU average over 90,000 in football and is in the top ten in attendance every year, but in basketball they're at less than 9K a game. UT is unique in that it supports both at a top ten level. 


 @OldArmy I agree that reporting actual attendance is best IF everyone else is reporting the same way.  Sadly, most don;t and this their numbers are inflated.  It's Mizzou's own fault, though.  No reason not to do what all their (former) and new rivals do.  Alabama, for example, reports tickets sold for basketball games.


 Mizzou's football stadium capacity is also set up to look bad. About  6-8000 general admission , standing room only tickets are included in the official 71009 seat capacity and the "sellout" figure.  Faurot Fried has only about 63000 SEATS.  The rest is lawn or ROCKS on a steep hill on the north side that become slippery mud when it rains.  So , while Mizzou average attendance is greater than the number of  actual seats, achieving a sellout can be challenging when there's bigtime rain or snow as anyone over 30 is not going to drive from StLouis or KC for a game  where they don;t even have a reserved seat and are forces to sit on sharp boulders.  This is why Mizzou needs to expand Faurot Field NOW with SEATS (in addition to the suites they are planning to have by 2013).


I have been to Omaha, and you speak the truth Kimosabe. Omaha is one of the most boring spots I have ever been, and I was in the desert for 9 months AND lived in College Station, Texas. If they had a tiddly wink contest in Omaha it would probably draw 1,000 people (well may be only 900 paying fans). But, towns and cities like Omaha are where small sports venues still work real well, which is one of the reasons the city built that arena. They are the home team and that is a great thing, but Creighton figured out how to draw based on their dynamics. That is impressive management, great advertising, community outreach, etc. And, those are THEIR FANS, just like the folks who never went to the University of Tennessee but who bought tickets for the games. Their butts still count as butts in the seat.


Ku-do's to any athletic director who can figure out how to get it done.


 @OldArmy You replied to my comment specifically, not the article. When I say "you missed the point" I was referencing the point of my original comment. Ya know, the one you replied to...


Please try to keep up.


 @JohnVol Uh, that's why I said, "Tennessee had a very good year, as you said," but the story had to do with just basketball. So, write in a story about Tennessee's attendance in combined sports against everybody else in combined sports.  


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