Tracking ACC basketball attendance

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A follow-up seemed appropriate to this morning’s analysis of Maryland basketball attendance.

It’s especially true since a chronic complaint throughout the winter was declining attendance at outposts throughout the ACC. That included getting to see near-empty arenas at Georgia Tech and Miami through Maryland’s travels through the league.

So how did everyone stack up? Let’s look:

Team2009-10   2010-11    Change (%)   
Florida State
7,3369,327+27.1
North Carolina
17,78619,144+7.6
N.C. State
13,18413,779+4.5
Miami4,7134,763+1.1
Virginia10,14110,156+0.15
Boston College   
5,3175,324+0.13
Duke9,3149,3140.0
Virginia Tech
9,2728,932-3.7
Maryland16,79214,910-11.2
Clemson9,4658,289-12.4
Wake Forest
11,8339,199-22.3
Georgia Tech
7,9796,095-23.6

Observations:

* The Florida State thing is interesting, but there might be some sense behind it. The Seminoles got to play Duke, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio State at home this season. Not one of them visited Tallahassee in 2009-10. Take those four games out, and the Seminoles’ home average was 8,482 – a healthy 15.6 percent bump and still the league’s best improvement. Nonetheless, the schedule probably helped Florida State at the turnstiles.

* The bandwagon element in Chapel Hill – which isn’t as large as most places – appears to have come back to the flock a bit this past season. With a loaded team returning, the Tar Heels will probably improve their attendance next season, too.

* Duke, with its run of sellouts over the last two decades or so, is an irrelevant entity in this analysis. The 100 percent capacity reality is impressive.

* Before anyone makes an argument about Virginia Tech’s numbers being misleading because of the NIT, remember the previous year’s average goes up, too, when postseason home games are factored out. Minus NIT games, Virginia Tech averaged 9,688 this past season and 9,804 the year before. That’s an adjusted dip of 1.2 percent.

* Clemson’s significant drop is a mild surprise. Maybe people were sad they couldn’t be part of Oliver Purnell’s Posse any more.

* Predictably, the biggest plummets came at Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Both lost some forgettable games early (Kennesaw State beat Georgia Tech, Stetson handled Wake Forest) and quickly took residence at the bottom of the conference. Georgia Tech wasn’t dreadful at home (4-4 with one double-digit loss in league play). The same cannot be said of Wake Forest. In both cases, there’s a pretty obvious connection between performance and attendance.

Patrick Stevens

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