Crunching the Numbers

11917844-old-abacus-on-a-wooden-table

(Yes, i did all the math with this abacus)

I’m about to go real nerdy up in here. Lets talk about attendance numbers.

Over the past four seasons, I have seen the crowds at the Mullins Center grow from a pathetic trickle of local cotton-tops to a very, very slow moving flood of local cotton-tops. Not to mention the student crowd, because suddenly its cool to go to basketball games again. As a freshman, I remember showing up to the games two minutes before tip-off and easily getting a front row seat next to the three other squids who thought basketball was cooler than trying to get into Monkey Bar (remember when they let underclassmen in there?). Last year, as a senior and an employee of the Mullins Center, I saw crowds line up at the door hours before  games. So, lets see if my perception was right by taking a look at the figures.

2009-2010

Record: 12-20

Average Home Attendance: 3,987

2010-2011

Record: 15-15

Average Home Attendance: 3,300

2011-2012

Record: 25-12

Average Home Attendance: 4,279

2012-2013

Record: 21-12

Average Home Attendance: 5,110

Okay, so maybe the Mullins Center didn’t look like Kentucky’s Rupp Arena  last season (#1 in attendance with over 22,000 fans per game) but the increase in attendance was clearly noticeable. One season after the Minutemen made it to the NIT Semi-Finals in 2012, attendance cracked 5,000 per game and showed a 23% increase from the 2011-2012 season to the 2012-2013 season. That was good enough for #26 on the list of most improved attendance averages.*

Mullins Center crowd

I’d call that good news for the Minutemen and my prediction is for even bigger crowds this season. Just taking a look at the first half of the football season and the first few games of hockey season, UMass fans are coming out in droves this year.

Here are the attendance numbers for the three football games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro this season:

UMass vs Maine:  15,624

UMass vs Vanderbilt: 16,419

UMass vs Miami (Ohio): 21,707

As UMass fans continue to head to Gillette Stadium for football games, I supsect some of that momentum will carry over into basketball season as alumni and students are getting more excited about UMass sports.

While we are only two home games into the hockey season, opening weekend attendance of 7,078 and 5,280 also point to massive support for UMass sports this year.

Obviously the Mullins Center has limited capacity, with only 9,493 seats in the basketball configuration so we won’t see gigantic crowds unless fans fill the TD Garden for this seasons game against Boston College. Another problem is parking and traffic. I have not idea how to solve that problem, but maybe we can get SlimPhil working on it. I hear he’s good at that stuff. Regardless (or irregardless, if you prefer), if the Minutemen play well this season I don’t see why they couldn’t sell out the Mullins Center for a late season conference match up.

*Figures taken from report published by NCAA http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/Reports/attend/2013.pdf

  • Toaster Strudell

    After going to the hockey game Friday, we confirmed that ref guy and #1 fan are still around. I wonder if they have had any influence on crowd numbers these past couple of years.

    • Adam S

      Yep, this checks out. Ref guy and #1 fan are definitely squids.

  • Slim Phil

    Give me a couple weeks and I’ll draw up a full-fledged, outrageous, incredibly expensive solution to the parking/traffic problem. I’m thinking flyover straight to 116 from the Mullins. Possibly even direct to 91 if we can wrangle up a bridge over the Connecticut.

    Also thanks for the attendance source, I’ve always wondered where to find that sort of info.

    • Adam S

      An outrageous, incredibly expensive solution? The UMass administration loves those!

  • staceface

    Sweet abacus

    • Adam S

      Only chumps use calculators

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