Men's Basketball Finishes Fifth Nationally in Attendance With Record Breaking Support
Aug 14, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University men's basketball program, which captured the 2013 Big Ten title and was the top ranked team in the country for a national best 10 weeks, finished the season ranked fifth in the country and first in the Big Ten in overall attendance averaging a new IU record 17,412 fans in 19 home games. The previous best came in 2001-02 when the IU drew 17,148 per game in 11 home dates. Assembly Hall has an official seating capacity of 17,472.
"With all the great teams who have played in Assembly Hall, this is a wonderful tribute to Coach Tom Crean and a group of young men who have helped bring back a historic college basketball program on so many levels," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass. "I'm so proud of Hoosier Nation. Our fans supported the program through difficult times and have always played a major role in its success through the years."
It also marked just the second time since 1985 that IU had ranked among the top five programs in the country in attendance and the first since 2002. This was also the first time that IU had led the Big Ten, which led conferences in the nation in attendance (13,114), since that same season.
"I continue to be overwhelmed by the spirit and generosity of so many who support our program every day," said Head Coach Tom Crean. "Our season ticket holders are as loyal a group as you will find. You really had a sense early in the season that our players had forged a strong bond with our fans, young and old alike. That was very evident starting with Hoosier Hysteria, the North Carolina game and all of the great battles we had during the Big Ten season."
Though not part of any official calculations, the start of the campaign was a precursor of things to come when the University actually turned away fans and shut the door on Assembly Hall for the first time at its annual Hoosier Hysteria in October. Sixteen of IU's 19 home games were listed at capacity but what contributed to IU's record setting standard was the fact that an average 17,269 fans attended four non-conference games over the Holiday's as opposed to 14,317 fans the previous year. Ironically, last year was the first time that no Big Ten conference games were included in the break games. Two years ago, IU hosted Ohio State and Michigan while the largest student section in the country was away from Bloomington.
"Our fans really came through for us during the games over the Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks," added Crean. "There is a very different feel when you walk out and see so many generations of families here at Assembly Hall who may be attending their first game ever. The gratitude and enthusiasm they bring is prevalent. I hope we continue to attract those Hoosier fans who come early and enjoy the campus, visit Cook Hall and then spend an evening in Assembly Hall building memories that last a lifetime."
IU holds 7,800 seats for its students each season, the largest in college basketball by nearly 2,800. Last year, 12,468 students purchased season tickets with each receiving tickets to 10 of the Hoosiers' 16 home games while school was in session. Students also had the option to purchase tickets to break games at the regular student price. This year, IU has already sold 14,580 student season tickets with each slated to receive tickets to eight home games this year.
"All of our fans from the community, to our alumni, faculty/staff and students, give Assembly Hall a true home court advantage," noted Crean. "Everyone associated with the program on game day, our ESG staff, public safety, the cheerleaders and band, our Varsity Shop, concessions, they really make an IU game experience unique. When we lost about half our students that first year, our hope was to find a way to get them back as quickly as possible. The Varsity Club, our ticket office, marketing and those who handle our social media really stepped up to make this happen and deserve our gratitude."
IU finished 16th in the country in 2009 and has never finished below 17th since 1972. From 1972-1998, IU ranked in the top 10 25 of 27 years and led the nation in attendance in 1976 after finishing second in 1974 and 1975. Part of the shift for IU was the development of new facilities across college basketball. Among school's in the top 10, only Kansas' Phog Allen Fieldhouse is older than Assembly Hall, but those two venues are considered among the best in the country to witness a college basketball game.
Tickets for the Holiday Break (Mini Series) games for the 2013-14 season will go on sale once the Big Ten schedule is finalized and released.
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