By Nick Veronica
UB saw the largest increase in average men’s basketball attendance of any local Division I team in 2014-15, drawing an extra 150 fans per home game as it earned a share of the MAC’s regular season title.
That’s according to the NCAA’s official attendance figures, which were released Monday.
St. Bonaventure led the Big 4 in home attendance again, drawing an average of 3,889 to the Reilly Center, but saw its lead shrink as UB gained and the Bonnies lost nearly 40 fans per game from 2013-14.
2014-15 Big 4 home attendance
Niagara saw the biggest drop in average attendance, losing 360 fans per night as the team won just four of its first 25 games. Canisius lost an average of 78 fans per game after MAAC MVP Billy Baron graduated.
Update: Niagara’s attendance numbers seem to have omitted the Big 4 Classic game against St. Bonaventure at First Niagara Center — attended by 7,191 fans — where Niagara was the home team. Had Niagara counted that game, its home attendance would’ve jumped to 1,502, an increase of almost 50 fans per game from 2013-14. Judging by number of reported home games, Canisius’ numbers do include its Big 4 Classic game against UB, and UB counted its FNC game in 2013-14. Niagara did not count its FNC game against Davidson in 2013-14, either.
Syracuse led the NCAA in attendance, drawing 26,253 a night, while North Carolina State saw the largest gain, drawing 2,795 more fans per game than in 2013-14.
The Atlantic 10 was 10th in attendance by conference, with an average of 5,107 fans at each home event. UB’s Mid-American Conference was 13th at 2,885 while the MAAC was 21st at 2,130. The MAC and MAAC each gained one place from the 2013-14 rankings while the A-10 remained in 10th.
Arizona State, where Bobby Hurley now coaches, drew 5,985 fans per game last season, which was good for 89th nationally.