For the 3rd straight year, the Hawaii men’s volleyball team led the NCAA in total attendance, and for the 2nd time in that run they also led the nation in average home attendance.
Mirroring their best season on the court in a decade, Hawaii saw their average home attendance jump by 5% in 2017. That jump is more impressive when highlighted by the fact that their biggest games of the season, 2 games each against Long Beach State, BYU, and Hawaii, were all played on the road. A year prior, Hawaii averaged 4,260 against those teams at home, which would’ve likely resulted in an even higher home attendance if that had been the case again in 2017.
The season resulted in Hawaii advancing to the Final 4 of the Men’s NCAA tournament, where they fell to home team and eventual-champions Ohio State in the semi-finals. The team was undefeated at home this season and have won their last 21 matches at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawaii’s Attendance since 2014
- 2014 – 2,956 avg (#2)/48,435 (#2)
- 2015 – 3,613 avg (#1)/61,414 (#1)
- 2016 – 3,599 avg. (#2)/61,180 (#1)
- 2017 – 3,794 avg. (#1)/68,283 (#2)
BYU, meanwhile, who advanced to the NCAA championship game for a repeat of their title match against Ohio State drew just 57,567 fans this season or 3,598 per season. That’s down from 59,694 and 4,980 in 2016.
The best news to come out of the final attendance figures is that 6 teams averaged more than 1,000 spectators per home game this season. That’s more than any year in the past 4 (which is how many years we could find in the NCAA stats database):
- Hawaii – 3,794/game
- BYU – 3,598/game
- Ohio St. – 1,438/game (National Champions)
- Long Beach St. – 1,169/game
- Ball St. – 1,047/game
- UC Irvine – 1,040/game
Ohio State, thanks in part to being the defending national champions, saw an explosion in attendance in 2017. After hovering around 500 or 600 fans per game over the last 3 years, they more than doubled their 2016 output to 1,438 spectators per game to rank 3rd behind Hawaii and BYU. Those numbers, however, include the NCAA tournament games that they hosted. If those are removed from their total, 8,205 and 4,834 in the semi-finals and finals, respectively, the number becomes a more modest, but still improved, 930 spectators/game.
Among other highlights of the final attendance numbers:
- BYU filled a whopping 71.96% of its stadium capacity this season, which is tops in the nation by far. Lewis University pulled in 587 fans/game for 53.32% capacity.
- Grand Canyon’s attendance jumped from 500 per game last year to 772 in 2017. The Lopes went 19-11 this season and 11-5 in the MIVA. Those are both program bests in its short history, and included a 10-4 record at home. They were also 3rd nationally at 51.44% capacity – one of only 3 programs to fill their stadium more than halfway this season.
Full attendance report, courtesy the NCAA, with 2016, 2015, and 2014 data added, is below:
|Rank||Institution||Conference||Accum Attendance||Avg Attendance||Stadium Capacity||Pct Capacity||Games||+/- from 2016||2016 average||2015 average||2014 average|
|4||Long Beach St.||Mountain Pacific||18,698||1,169||4,200||27.82||16||-34||1203||860||1027|
|6||UC Irvine||Mountain Pacific||12,483||1,040||5,000||20.81||12||-35||1075||1114||1003|
|15||Southern California||Mountain Pacific||6,150||439||10,258||4.28||14||27||412||890||645|
|16||UC Santa Barbara||Mountain Pacific||5,641||376||0||Inf||15||58||318||377||583|
|19||UC San Diego||Mountain Pacific||4,353||335||5,000||6.7||13||1||334||286||308|
|20||Saint Francis (PA)||EIVA||3,992||333||3,500||9.5||12||-10||343||475||250|
|21||California Baptist||Mountain Pacific||4,444||317||1,100||28.86||14||-94||411||367||401|
|25||Mount Olive||Conference Carolinas||2,563||256||1,250||20.5||10||121||135||244||303|
|28||King (TN)||Conference Carolinas||2,992||176||1,200||14.67||17||74||102||106||131|
|36||Belmont Abbey||Conference Carolinas||1,268||91||1,000||9.06||14||-102||193||148||55|
|37||North Greenville||Conference Carolinas||1,038||87||1,000||8.65||12||-18||105||73||0|
|38||Emmanuel (GA)||Conference Carolinas||950||86||0||Inf||11||37||49||106||0|