Another home season has concluded for the Buffs. I'll briefly get you up to speed if you don't want to read my very detailed fanpost about this from last year, which can be found here: http://www.ralphiereport.com/2014/2/24/5444628/this-seasons-final-attendance-numbers-and-what-they-mean-for-you
In 2013-14, the Buffs averaged 9,635 fans per game, which was a decrease from 10,392 the previous year. How did we do this year?
The short answer is: almost the same!
This year, in 16 home games, 154,018 fans passed through the gates of the CEC, an average of 9,626, which is just 9 people off from last year.
For the third year in a row, at least 8,000 fans attended every game, and 9,000 fans attended all but one of them (tying a mark from 2012-13).
After that, however, the news gets slightly less encouraging. CU had the fewest number of 10,000 games since 2011-12 with four, and technically only had one 11,000 game. That one game comes with a huge asterisk however, as it was the Arizona game. While it was announced as a sellout, there were well over 3,000 no-shows, and it was likely the 6th or 7th most attended game this year instead of the most. That title actually belongs to the CSU game, which fell just shy of a sellout at 10,966.
Once again, we have seen the range of possibilities get squashed. The minimum amount of fans is higher than ever because of our strong season ticket base and recent history of success. However, likely because of the team's lackluster play, we did not see Coors truly packed at any point during conference play like in years past.
Student attendance, while not directly quantifiable, was also down slightly from last year. After a strong start that saw a surprisingly full section for the season opener against Drexel, as well as completely packed sections against Auburn and CSU, attendance tailed off dramatically. Only the Utah and Arizona games saw student sections that were more than half full during conference play, and neither of those games saw sections 16 and 17 packed completely like they had been earlier in the season. Student attendance for Cal, Stanford and Arizona State was pitiful (if somewhat understandable). The team was bad this year, and CU students don't support teams that don't win.
This season we saw that fan support can mostly survive a bad season. While Coors wasn't packed much this year, there were decent amounts of fans at every game. The only time I was truly disappointed was with the massive amount of no-shows for the Arizona game, and it's pretty hard to blame those people for staying away after what happened on the court that night. All the other games met or slightly exceeded what I thought was reasonable based on our record and the opponent we were playing (student attendance notwithstanding.)
The run from 2011-2014 built up enough goodwill that fans didn't completely jump ship at the first sign of trouble. It took years for the fans to reflect the product on the field for football. The 2008-2011 teams still drew around 50,000 fans per game before the precipitous dropoff in 2012 and '13. Basketball does not have the same history of support as football does though, and if next year's team is as bad as this year's, things might start returning to the way they were before the arrival of Tad Boyle. Here's hoping that doesn't happen and that next year will see multiple sellouts and thrilling victories.
Below is a complete breakdown, along with the previous 4 years of the Boyle era.
2014-15: 154,018 in 16 games= 9,626 average (87.0%); Median Game 9,612
Low Game: 8,403 vs. Lipscomb
High Game: 11,120 vs. Arizona*
Games Over 8,000: 16/16 (all)
Games Over 9,000: 15/16 (94%)
Games Over 10,000: 4/16 (25%)
Games Over 11,000: 1/16* (6%)
2010-11: 117,619 in 17 games= 6,919 average (62.5%); Median Game 6,874 (NIT games not included)