Lady Gamecocks Finish First in Attendance


For the past 20 years only Tennessee and Connecticut have led the nation in average attendance or total attendance but this year the Lady Gamecocks finish first in attendance in the nation, both in average per game and total attendance.  There’s a lot of factors that led to this kind of almost shocking feat, but South Carolina finishing 27-2 and undefeated at Colonial Life Arena is certainly one of the biggest reasons as people love winners.  However, there’s definitely more to it than just winning as Coach Dawn Staley has been nurturing the community since her arrival and making the Lady Gamecocks a central part of the city and making the fans and the city feel like a part of the team.

Nonetheless, there is no way to over-state how significant this accomplishment is for women’s basketball.  Year after year, it’s practically the same teams in the entire top ten in attendance, not just the top two.  And even with those same teams in there year after year, no one else has made it to the top spot other than the Vols or the Huskies, and the Vols have led in average attendance for more than 10 straight years.  Just four years ago the Gamecocks broke into the top 50 at 43, so moving to #1 in just a short time is amazing.

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Coach Staley and the players have made it clear, too, that the huge crowds have played a part in their success at home as well.  On the road, they’ve played in front of crowds of less than 2,000 people, so playing at home in front of 15,000 fans brings a crazy level of energy to the games.  And even though they won’t get any credit for it in the numbers, the fan base has also travelled well, sometimes taking up to four buses to travel with the Lady Gamecocks.  Clearly the amount of Gamecock fans at Cameron stadium helped the team get some last minute energy to come back and win with less than 2 seconds left.

Here’s how the top 10 teams finished in attendance this year:

Attendance Report thru games 03/01/2015
RankInstitutionConferenceAccum AttendanceAvg AttendanceStadium CapacityPct CapacityGames
1South CarolinaSoutheastern175,55512,54018,00069.6614
3LouisvilleAtlantic Coast161,7549,51522,00043.2517
4Notre DameAtlantic Coast159,0268,8359,14996.5718
5Iowa St.Big 12157,9169,28914,38464.5817
7BaylorBig 12104,1096,50710,28463.2716
9PurdueBig Ten100,4586,27914,24044.0916
10Michigan St.Big Ten97,9066,11914,79741.3516