Georgia Basketball Pops For Big Attendance Increase In 2015


The rain falls, the flowers grow. The Georgia basketball team wins, the attendance rises. It’s not complicated.

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Nothing succeeds like success.

From 2014 to 2015, Georgia basketball home attendance increased 22 percent, the 14th greatest attendance increase in Division 1.

The NCAA released basketball attendance statistics for 2015 and the Dawgs played before 1377 more fans each home game than last season. The 7,517 per night average still leaves room for growth, but the increase demonstrates once again that winning cures many ills.

Students love a winner, and the young folks eschewed the library – and downtown – on many occasions to rock the Stegeman Coliseum in 2015. Nothing makes a basketball game more fun for the “wine and cheese” crowd than a rocking student section, affecting attendance on the south side of the gym.

The “Bruce Pearl Factor” gets credit for Auburn’s nationally second ranked attendance increase of 25 percent. The Tigers came out just ahead of Georgia in average attendance with 7,825.

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The reason for the Dawg Cager’s larger home audience is simple and complicated. Back to back 20 win seasons brings fans to the games. Also, for what are probably complicated reasons of population growth and demographic changes, basketball is more popular in Athens than ten years ago.

There is also the in-game “dead ball” experience – the fan experience when the game clock is not ticking. Tighter coordination between and an effective blend of the Basketball Band, Cheerleaders, Dance Dawgs, recorded music, promotions and public address announcements more effectively engaged the fans in 2015.

Promotions and the Basketball Band hit a groove this past year in particular. Promotional performances, activities, ticketing combinations and give aways were effective. And you didn’t need to be a Julliard graduate to hear a vast improvement in the basketball band.

Around the country, Syracuse, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, and Wisconsin took the top five spots in average attendance. In the Southeastern Conference, Arkansas ranked 11 nationally, Tennessee 13, South Carolina 33, Florida 38, Alabama 40, LSU 50, Vanderbilt 51, Missouri 55, Auburn 58, Georgia 64, Ole Miss 67, Texas A & M 71 and Mississippi State 81.

With a national attendance rank of 64 among all Division 1 schools there is still work needed among the Georgia faithful to make basketball the big time sport it should be. And in Athens, football – professional, college, high school, and pee wee – holds basketball hostage until January.  But with another 20 win season and an NCAA Tourney berth, average attendance will increase at least 10 percent next year and nudge the per night crowd to over eight thousand. With that, Georgia basketball attendance cracks the top 50 national mark next year. And with the Steg holding a shade over ten thousand spectators, the Dawgs can only make the Top 40.

Put a bullet beside Georgia basketball. It has a nice beat and it’s fun to dance to.

Mar 20, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; The Georgia Bulldogs band performs before the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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