San Diego State Led The Conference With Over 170 Thousand Tickets Sold During The 2016-17 Season
The conference’s overall attendance has fallen remarkably during its recent one-bid trend
With UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State facing challenges, the attendance figures have dropped considerably
The NCAA released the 2016-17 men’s basketball attendance figures Tuesday.
Nevada, led by Eric Musselman’s two-year program resurgence, saw the sixth-highest increase in average attendance in the country in 2017. The 28-win Wolf Pack captured both the regular season and conference titles in one of its best seasons in school history.
Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State and San Jose State joined Nevada on the list of Mountain West teams that saw improvements in average game attendance this past season.
There is also a new leader in Mountain West attendance. Though San Diego State had its lowest win total since 2005, the Aztecs passed New Mexico for the highest average game attendance in the Mountain West in 2017. New Mexico had led the league in attendance for the previous three seasons.
The Mountain West’s typical mainstay, UNLV, continues to suffer consistent blows to its attendance. This past season marks the fourth consecutive season that the Rebels have declined in average game attendance. In 2013, UNLV was 14th in the nation in average attendance with 15,196 tickets sold per game, but in 2017, the Rebs have dipped to 39th – just over 10,000 per game.
Looking at the conference as a whole, the Mountain West’s attendance numbers have plummeted considerably since its memorable 2013 season.
Though the conference remains #7 of 32 leagues in total attendance, the average game-by-game attendance has dipped in the past half-decade.
In 2013, when the Mountain West punched five NCAA Tournament bids, the average game attendance for the league was 8,720. This past season, the decline is over 2,000 fans per game. Moreover, the average conference tournament game attendance numbers have taken an incredibly nosedive from 12,826 to 5,543 over just a five-season span.
As attendance numbers plunge, the Mountain West receives yet another painful reminder that the conference is drifting from national relevancy. The MWC has sent just its automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Tournament the previous two seasons, and has not had a team ranked in the AP top 25 since the final regular season poll of 2015.