College crowd size depends on record

Bill Plaschke, an LA Times sports columnist, asserts in a piece today that UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion has “lost its buzz” since a remodel three years ago:

But the initial sight lingered. The perception is reality. In its third season, like a highly touted young slugger who can’t hit the curveball, renovated Pauley Pavilion is scuffling.

“We’re not overly enthusiastic about the attendance we’re seeing,” acknowledged Dan Guerrero, UCLA’s athletic director. “We need to continue to work to get people to come enjoy our team.”

The crowds have been indeed small, with an average of barely 7,000 fans in an arena nearly twice that size. The noise level is generally low, except when fans are cheering for an opponent to miss consecutive free throws in the second half, thus earning them the coveted free yogurt.

Fact check: UCLA men’s attendance (as of today) averages 8,260 for fourth in the conference. UCLA women’s crowds average 2,146, for sixth place.

Pac 12 women’s attendance

ASU 2,867
OSU 2,728
Stanford 2,573
Washington 2,287
Oregon 2,255
UCLA 2,146
California 2,142
Arizona 1,953
Colorado 1,772
USC 1,473
WSU 1,461
Utah 1,286

Pac 12 men’s attendance

Arizona 11,363
Utah 11,234
Colorado 9,730
UCLA 8,260
California 8,059
Washington 7,614
ASU 7,220
Oregon 7,065
OSU 6,898
Stanford 6,292
USC 6,150
WSU 6,028

Attendance figures roughly correlate to team record.

Women’s standings.

Men’s standings.

Check out women’s 2012-2013 attendance and compare it to today’s:

ATTENDANCE
Team | HOME GAMES Avg | AWAY GAMES Avg | NEUT GAMES Avg | ALL GAMES Avg |
———————————————————————————————-
Arizona | 13-18791 1445 | 14-28974 2070 | 3-3209 1070 | 30-50974 1699 |
Arizona State | 15-23821 1588 | 12-20395 1700 | 4-203 51 | 31-44419 1433 |
California | 16-39691 2481 | 13-30675 2360 | 7-32396 4628 | 36-102762 2854 |
Colorado | 18-58695 3261 | 12-14845 1237 | 2-11604 5802 | 32-85144 2661 |
Oregon | 16-25204 1575 | 12-26045 2170 | 3-7349 2450 | 31-58598 1890 |
Oregon State | 15-17965 1198 | 10-20461 2046 | 6-992 165 | 31-39418 1272 |
Stanford | 15-64259 4284 | 15-54576 3638 | 6-10079 1680 | 36-128914 3581 |
UCLA | 15-29864 1991 | 12-20458 1705 | 7-13856 1979 | 34-64178 1888 |
USC | 17-14451 850 | 12-24814 2068 | 2-0 0 | 31-39265 1267 |
Utah | 18-14853 825 | 17-23279 1369 | 2-6269 3134 | 37-44401 1200 |
Washington | 16-30742 1921 | 15-19896 1326 | 2-10117 5058 | 33-60755 1841 |
Washington State | 13-12817 986 | 15-32288 2153 | 3-0 0 | 31-45105 1455 |
———————————————————————————————-
Totals | 187-351153 1878 | 159-316706 1992 | 47-96074 2044 | 393-763933 1944

UCLA’s has gone up, along with their record. Ditto ASU and OSU. It’s no magic why attendance figures go up and down.

Crowd size helps, but it need not be the life blood of a team. Women have always played in largely-empty arenas, but they play with passion and purpose. Hopefully athletes remember why they play the game.

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