Imperfect Attendance: Men’s basketball attendance falls 7.5 percent in 2015-2016

Imperfect Attendance: Men’s basketball attendance falls 7.5 percent in 2015-2016

By:
03/03/2016

With their home schedule now complete, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-16, 7-10) suffered a 7.5 percent drop in attendance during the 2015-16 season. The Hoyas averaged 8,906 fans in 17 games played at Verizon Center, compared to 9,630 fans in 16 games played during the 2014-15 season.

This year’s attendance numbers offer a mixed bag of facts and figures. The Blue and Gray had their three largest crowds in the last three seasons in games against Syracuse (18,231), Villanova (15,535), and Providence (14,481). Despite the Villanova and Providence games, the Hoyas averaged 9,701 fans for their nine Big East home games, their lowest since the beginning of the new Big East in 2013. The Blue and Gray averaged 10,633 fans per Big East contest in 2014-15 and 10,336 in 2013-14. 

Alex Boyd

Alex Boyd

This season also had the lowest attended regular season game in Verizon Center history, a December Tuesday night tilt against Maryland Eastern Shore (4,062) as well as the two of the three lowest attended Big East home games in Verizon Center history, Seton Hall (5,273) and St. John’ s (5,369). The off-campus Verizon Center seats up to 20,035 fans overall.

“At the conclusion of every season we evaluate ticketing, game attendance, in-game promotions and other items associated with the game day experience,” said Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Dan O’Neil in an e-mailed statement to The Voice. “With an extremely competitive Big East Conference and home games against Maryland and Connecticut slated for next year, we are excited to see how our attendance will grow in 2016-17.”

Through Wednesday, the Hoyas rank fifth in attendance for Big East schools. Creighton (17,065) and Marquette (13,309) paced the league as the top two schools, with Xavier (10,258) and Providence (9,703) rounding out the top four. Behind Georgetown is Butler (8,169), Villanova (7,316), Seton Hall (7,070), St. John’s (6,395), and DePaul (5,459). Butler, DePaul, St. John’s, Villanova, and Xavier still have one home game left to play this coming weekend.

Out of the 10 Big East schools, only Butler, St. John’s, Villanova, and Xavier played all or a majority of their home games in an on-campus arena. Despite ranking seventh in attendance overall, Villanova sold out all 13 games played at The Pavilion on its campus which seats 6,500. Creighton and Xavier were the only other teams to have their arenas at least 90 percent filled for all home games. Villanova plays three games off-campus at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, which seats 20,000-plus, and will host Georgetown there in both teams’ final regular season game this Saturday.

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Joe Pollicino


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