Having an enormous on-campus arena for basketball games has its advantages, including large crowds for most contests. So to no one’s surprise, the Syracuse Orange once again recorded very high attendance numbers for the most recent men’s basketball season.
Tuesday’s NCAA figures showed Syracuse second in average attendance, at 21,181 fans per game. However, they were tops in terms of total home attendance over the course of the season. SU drew (of course) 444,809 fans to the Carrier Dome through 21 games -- the only program to top the 400,000 mark.
In terms of per-game average, the Kentucky Wildcats were No. 1 (23,461), then Syracuse, Louisville (20,846), North Carolina (18,067) and Creighton (17,412). Five ACC programs averaged more than 10,000 fans per home game, including SU, ‘Ville, UNC, NC State and Virginia.
Surprisingly, the Orange’s average home attendance numbers actually dropped year-over-year (albeit slightly). SU averaged 21,592 fans per game at the Carrier Dome in 2015-16, which was also second to Kentucky. Total attendance was way down for Syracuse, from last year’s 682,039 fans (though that figure includes NCAA Tournament games which we didn’t participate in this spring...).
When diving into the numbers for all games, Syracuse dropped one spot to third, drawing 611,607 fans during its 34 contests. North Carolina (second), Louisville (fifth), Duke (12th), Virginia (14th) and NC State (25th) also made the top-30 in those rankings.
In terms of overall conference attendance, the ACC finished second to the Big Ten, averaging 11,257 fans -- about 1,000 less than the Big Ten per game. The ACC had over 3 million fans attend games during the season. It also drew more attendees for its conference tournament than any other league, at 115,802 for the five-day ACC Tournament at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this March.