Marquette attendance second best in Big East

The NCAA released its official attendance figures for the 2012-13 season and Marquette has slipped back in the national rankings for the third consecutive year finishing 15th in the country with an average of 15,033 fans per game at the Bradley Center.

Marquette had finished the 2012 season averaging just over a hundred more fans (15,138) and in 13th place nationally. Below are the past 11 years which show Marquette’s remained in the top-15 seven straight years, never dipping below 15,000 per game.

  • 2001-02: 12,680 (21st)
  • 2002-03: 15,553 (11th)
  • 2003-04: 15,291 (12th)
  • 2004-05: 11,965 (21st)
  • 2005-06: 13,998 (18th)
  • 2006-07: 15,345 (14th)
  • 2007-08: 16,239 (14th)
  • 2008-09: 16,200 (10th)
  • 2009-10: 15,617 (10th)
  • 2010-11: 15,586 (11th)
  • 2011-12: 15,138 (13th)

Attendance figures for next season are hard to estimate this early on. The Big East is losing marquee names in Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame and Pitt which combined to be three of last season’s top-attended games at the Bradley Center. Over 19,000 showed up against ND, 17,308 against Pitt and 16,049 against Cuse for an average of 17,483, well above the per-game average last season. Also hurting attendance will be playing at Wisconsin this season. The Badgers game drew the second largest crowd of the year last season at over 18k.

However, teams have seen bumps in attendance following deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and if the new season ticket packages sold is any indication, that might be the case this upcoming season.

Also negating a dip is the marquee home game against Ohio State. No numbers have been released yet, but you can guarantee at least 17k for that one. In regards to the conference schedule, a lot will depend on how many weekend home dates Marquette receives, which we will find out some time around labor day. The novelty factor might also help draw a few curious souls. Fans who want to get a look at newcomers Xavier, Butler and Creighton might be more tempted to come out for that than a generic USF home-date. Most importantly though, every conference foe is guaranteed to come into Milwaukee once, meaning Georgetown and Villanova, two high profile teams, will draw an audience.

Speaking of the Big East, how does the ‘new’ conference look attendance-wise? 

Creighton  17,155
Marquette 15,033
Georgetown 10,911
Xavier 9,781
Villanova 8,022
Butler 7,899
Providence 7,772
DePaul 7,681
St. John’s 7,330
Seton Hall 7,035

Creighton is head and shoulders above the pack and will most likely see another boost this season with the influx of higher-profile teams into Omaha. Expect St. John’s to see a nice leap this season as they look to have a borderline NCAA team and fell 13% from 2012 last season. They are a key cog in the overall perception of the league. There might be a drop-off with Georgetown and Villanova with the loss of some close rivalry games, but it shouldn’t be steep if there at all. 

This conference would have ranked fifth in the country in attendance with a 9,862 per-game average just below the ACC’s 9,990 average and the Big 12’s 10,289 average.   

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