July 6, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The NCAA announced its women’s basketball official attendance rankings today, listing South Carolina fans as the best in the nation. The Gamecocks led the nation in average home attendance for the first time in program history, while repeating as the nation’s most increased fan base over the previous year. Additionally, more fans watched South Carolina women’s basketball games (home, away and neutral) than any program in country.
Leading the nation for the first time in program history, South Carolina’s 12,293 fans per game was nearly 2,000 more than the next team on the list (Tennessee, 10,375). The Gamecocks dethroned SEC rival Tennessee for the top spot, ending the Lady Vols’ 11-year run atop the standings, and became the first school other than Tennessee or Connecticut since 1993-94 to lead the nation in average home attendance. Six South Carolina home games ranked among the nation’s top 10 in single-game attendance, led by the 17,156 who watched the Gamecocks top then-No. 10/11 Kentucky on Jan. 11, 2015, which ranked second in the nation. En route to their second-straight undefeated season at home, South Carolina played in front of 10,000+ fans 13 times in 16 home dates.
The NCAA also compiled cumulative attendance across all games played in 2014-15, and the Gamecocks were, again, No. 1 in the nation, playing in front of a combined 295,991 over the course of 37 games.
South Carolina’s fan base has grown exponentially over the last two seasons, and the Gamecocks have led the nation in home attendance increase each of the last two years. Starting in 2012-13 with a home attendance average of 3,952, South Carolina drew 6,371 in 2013-14. That average grew by 5,922 in 2014-15, more than double the increase of the next team on the list (Oregon State from 2,049 to 4,194).
The Gamecocks’ growth helped buoy the Southeastern Conference into the No. 1 spot as well, returning to the position for the first time since 1984. The league averaged 4,214 fans over 240 games to become just the second conference in NCAA Division I history to welcome more than one million fans to its games (1,011,451). In all, nine SEC schools were ranked in the top 50 for average home attendance with four among the top 25 (South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas A&M).