Friday, May 16, 2008

North Carolinians love their basketball

If you live in North Carolina and haven’t spent your entire life in a closet, you know how popular college basketball is here.

The NCAA attendance figures released Friday by the NCAA on its official website confirm what you already know.

North Carolina’s average attendance of 20,497 per game trailed only Kentucky. The Tar Heels’ total attendance at all games – home, road and neutral – was 688,940, second only to that of Kansas.

Davidson posted the third-highest attendance improvement as its per-game average ballooned to 6,214 from 3,721. That’s an increase of 2,493 fans per game. Only Southern California and Georgetown showed greater improvement.

In the NCAA tournament, each of Raleigh’s sold-out sessions brought crowds of 19,477 to the RBC Center for the highest attendance marks of any of the eight first- and second-round sites.
Charlotte’s regional at the Bobcats’ home arena had 19,092 fans per session watching North Carolina make its way to the Final Four. That was third best among the four regionals, but the arena was sold out.

The only way Charlotte could have sold more tickets would have been to hold the regionals at Bank of America Stadium.

Come to think of it, if not for the elements, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea.

For a complete list of the NCAA’s basketball attendance figures from 2007-08, click here.

– Ken Tysiac