Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BC Continues Attendance Woes

It's probably no surprise that BC is struggling at the box office with a team that has been rebuilding for two years and hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since any of the current undergraduates first stepped foot on campus.  In the 2012 fiscal year, BC averaged just 4,699 fans per game, which didn't even put the university in the top 100 of college basketball attendance.  Nevada, coming in at number 100, averaged 5,237 fans per game, putting the Wolf Pack over 10% above BC's numbers.  For those wondering, the Wolf Pack have been to the tournament six times, last in 2007.

BC's attendance ranks last this year in the ACC.  Although we have improved to 5,274 fans per game so far this season, we still lag second-to-last place Miami by over 1,000 fans per game.  Miami, which historically struggles to draw even mediocre basketball crowds, has averaged 6,356 this year, a figure no doubt bolstered by the team's #8 national ranking. 

Although the team has been historically weak this year, boasting an RPI of just 143 (followed by Illinois State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Jacksonville State, Oakland, and Wright State), you would like to think that BC could put more fans in the seats than this.  Against Clemson, for example, one entire student section (except for the band) was empty for the duration of the game.  In 2007-08 students entered the lottery for half-season packages!

Nothing puts fans in the seats quite like winning, but other struggling teams, like Wake and Virginia Tech have overcome similar challenges.  BC needs to find someone who can market the program even when it's struggling.

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