College basketball attendance 2019

While the players on the court might still be college students, the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball top division still draws in big crowds. The Syracuse Orange men's basketball, which represents Syracuse University in New York, attracted the highest average attendance during the 2019 season. The team, traditionally known as the Syracuse Orangemen, had an average home audience of almost 22 thousand in 2019.

NCAA basketball attracts millions

The total paid attendance at NCAA college basketball tournament games reached the highest figure to date in 2013, when nearly 800,000 spectators paid to watch the games. This figure has seen a slight decrease in recent years, with the 2018 count standing at 650 thousand spectators. The division I basketball tournament is commonly referred to as March Madness and takes the format of a single-elimination tournament between 68 teams. The high stakes nature of the games attract television viewers in their millions. Some 10.5 million viewers tuned in across the 2019 tournament, with almost 20 million fans glued to the gripping championship game between Virginia and Texas Tech.

March Madness mainstays

The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team is one of the most successful Division I basketball sides in history, so it is no wonder that an average of almost 21.7 thousand fans flocked to their home games during the 2019 season. The Wildcats lead the association in terms of March Madness appearances – the team has played in a total of 57 tournaments – and has the second most number of NCAA basketball titles, eight as of 2019. The UCLA Bruins top this list, having taken home the title a record 11 times. The Los Angeles-based programm achieved enormous success in the 1960s and 1970s, but their only title since that period came back in 1995. The Bruins reached the final four stage of the tournament for three years running between 2006 and 2008, but have been unable to recapture the success of times gone by.

NCAA division I men's basketball average attendance by team in 2019

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Release date

July 2019


United States

Survey time period


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