Women's basketball attendance tops 11 million for eighth consecutive year
Attendance for the 2014-15 NCAA women’s basketball season eclipsed 11 million fans for the eighth consecutive season. In addition, there were 11,123,533 total patrons across all three divisions, ranking as the seventh highest total since attendance figures were kept beginning with the 1982 season.
Division I attendance totaled 8,111,856, the fourth-highest total in the 34 years of NCAA women’s basketball. Division II attendance for women’s basketball increased from the previous season to 1,789,781, while Division III recorded a total of 1,164,082.
The 343 Division I teams averaged 1,565 fans per game over 5,184 games or sessions this season, with NCAA neutral site tournament attendance soaring to an average session increase of more than 2,400 fans per game.
“We’re pleased to see women’s basketball attendance continuing to rise as it indicates fan support for the sport and an allegiance to favorite NCAA college and university teams,” said Anucha Browne, vice president of women’s basketball championships. “Fans continue to follow women’s basketball and the attendance figures indicate this past year was full of excitement during the team tournament runs as well as during the regular season.”
• The Southeastern Conference became the second league in Division I history to welcome more than 1 million fans to its games (1,011,451). The total is the fourth best by any league and only the Big 12 has had more in a single season.
• The Southeastern Conference led the nation in attendance for the first time since the 1984 season, snapping a string of 15 straight seasons in which the Big 12 has led the nation in attendance.
• South Carolina led the nation in home attendance for the first time at 12,293 fans per game. It snapped a streak of 11 straight seasons where Tennessee had led the nation in attendance. Tennessee was second in the nation at 10,375. This is the first time that a school other than Tennessee or Connecticut has led the nation in attendance since 1994 (Ohio State).
• South Carolina’s attendance in 2014-15 jumped nearly 6,000 fans per game from its 2013-14 total, going from 6,371 to more than 12,000 fans per game. This is the second consecutive year that South Carolina has led the nation in most improved attendance, having increased 2,419 fans per game during the 2013-14 season.
• The Division I Women’s Basketball Championship drew 239,746 spectators for an average of 5,708 fans per session over 42 sessions (first and second rounds, regionals and Final Four). The all-time tournament session average of 7,966 was set in 2003.
• The Division I tournament average attendance rose more than 2,400 fans per session from 2013-14.
• The Division II tournament recorded 38,187 fans for an average of 1,061 over 36 sessions. The Division III tournament had 31,522 fans for an average of 751 over 42 sessions.
• In Division II, Northern State took top honors in attendance for the eighth consecutive season with 2,758 fans over 16 home games. Fort Hays State (2,289), Emporia State (2,110), Augustana (S.D.) (2,051) and Tarleton State (1,952) rounded out the top five.
• Hope led Division III in attendance for the seventh consecutive season with an average of 963 fans over 14 games. Franklin (880), Dubuque (791), Luther (641) and Maryville (Tenn.) (611) were the next four leaders.
• For Division II conferences, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association notched its seventh consecutive attendance title with an average of 1,172 fans per game. The Division III leader was the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 487 fans per game, marking the second consecutive year and fifth time in six years the IIAC has led the nation in average attendance.