Around the country, sports fans are either basking in their team’s success this season or trying to forget about their losses. Psychologically, the biggest sports fans become attached to teams and by association, their team’s success becomes, in a way, their own success and a source of pride. A team’s fan base creates a huge community focused around the members of the team and this community gives these fans a strong sense of belonging.
As far as overall attendance at games in a season, Syracuse fans have topped the charts five out of the last eight seasons. In 2014, they had over 475,000 people in attendance at their games. However, the University of Kentucky has the most fans showing out on a per-game basis, with an average of 23,207 people cheering at each game. Louisville also ranks highly in both overall attendance and average per-game attendance. It makes sense that these typically very successful basketball programs have such a strong following. Everyone’s going to lose at some point, but it’s nice if you are statistically more likely to win. However, it’s interesting that Louisville, who won the ACC conference from 2011-2014, did not beat out the other two schools in terms of overall or average game attendance.
As far as women’s basketball teams go, Louisville fans were again ranked highly, placing second in per-game attendance, showing that fans loyalty wasn’t constrained to just the men’s team. However, the other schools with the biggest women’s basketball fan bases differed from the men’s. The University of Tennessee, the University of South Carolina and the University of Connecticut all ranked high in both overall and average attendance at games in a season.
In terms of packing the arena, only men’s teams filled at or over capacity. Wichita State has reached 101.13% capacity, Gonzaga has hit 101.12% and Kansas has reached 100.7%. If being that tightly packed into a space doesn’t prove one’s loyalty to their team, what does? Duke University has reached a perfect 100% capacity before as well.
No matter what team you root for or why, surely you can relate to the excitement of watching your favorite team play one of America’s favorite sports. With the season just ending, it will be a few months before the arena’s are again filled with buzzers and the sounds of fans cheering on their teams, and now you know which fan bases are the ones to beat.