Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference led the nation in men’s basketball attendance for the 37th consecutive season according to figures recently released by the NCAA. The Big Ten led all conferences with an average attendance of 13,114, which is over 2,400 more fans per game than the next-closest conference.
During the 2012-13 regular season, the Big Ten welcomed 2,937,630 fans over 224 games, which set the conference’s all-time total attendance record for the second-straight season, and is the 21st straight year the conference eclipsed the two-million mark.
Seven conference schools ranked in the top 25 in average attendance, while no other conference had more than three top-25 programs. Indiana led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally with an average of 17,412 fans per game. Wisconsin (16,843) ranked seventh, followed by No. 9 Ohio State (16,524), No. 17 Illinois (15,013), No. 18 Michigan State (14,341), No. 21 Iowa (13,625) and No. 23 Minnesota (12,580). The Hawkeyes, who finished as the NIT runner-up, increased their home game attendance average by 1,756 fans per contest compared to the 2011-12 campaign, the eighth-largest increase in the nation.
In addition, the 2013 Big Ten Basketball Tournament set the total attendance record, as the conference welcomed 124,543 fans to the United Center in Chicago for the four-day event. The mark out-paced the previous record for total attendance of 109,769, which was set during the 2001 event in Chicago. All six sessions of the tournament were officially sold out, with an average of 20,757 patrons attending each session.