June 18, 2014
Rosemont, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference led the nation in men’s basketball attendance for the 38th consecutive season according to figures recently released by the NCAA. The Big Ten set a conference record with an average attendance of 13,534 per game, including regular season home games and all six sessions of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.
During the 2013-14 campaign, the Big Ten welcomed 2,896,322 patrons, the 22nd straight year the conference eclipsed the two-million mark. In addition, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament welcomed 111,427 fans over six sessions at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, an average of 18,571 fans per session and the largest total attendance in Indianapolis. Each of the last two tournaments have been sold out, including a conference record of more than 124,000 fans at the United Center in 2013.
For regular season and postseason home games only, the conference saw an increase in average attendance for the fifth consecutive year with 13,389 patrons per contest, the highest average since at least the 1999-2000 season. The Big Ten's average attendance ranks third since at least 1971-72, trailing only the 1989-90 (13,455) and 1999-2000 (13,443) campaigns. In addition, for the first time since 2000-01 and 2001-02, the Big Ten drew an average of at least 13,000 fans per home game in back-to-back seasons. During Big Ten play, the conference eclipsed 1.5 million fans (1,513,266) for the first time in conference history, and averaged more than 14,000 fans per conference home game (14,012) for just the third time since at least the 1962-63 season.
Nine conference schools ranked in the top 25 in average attendance. Indiana led the Big Ten and ranked sixth nationally with an average of 17,359 fans per game. Wisconsin (17,104) ranked seventh, followed by No. 8 Ohio State (16,474), No. 13 Nebraska (15,419), No. 15 Illinois (15,246), No. 17 Iowa (14,976), No. 18 Michigan State (14,797), No. 23 Purdue (12,738) and No. 24 Michigan (12,698).