The Journal Gazette
Friday, August 02, 2019 5:40 pm

Purdue basketball 14th in attendance; Big Ten best conference: NCAA

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Purdue men's basketball finished 14th in the country for average attendance at home games in 2018-19, the NCAA announced. 

The Boilermakers drew an average of 14,467 fans for their 15 games at Mackey Arena, setting a school record. They finished the season with eight straight sellouts and filled Mackey to 97.72% of capacity during the season, which also ranks 14th nationally. The Boilers have been in the top 20 in national attendance four seasons in a row, but 14th is their highest finish since they were No. 12 in 1997-98. In that '97-'98 season, the Boilermakers went 28-8, earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet 16.

The attendance this season was boosted by the Boilermakers going 15-0 at home, just the third undefeated home season in program history. Purdue has built one of the best home-court advantages in the country over the last several seasons and it will enter the 2019-20 season winners of 17 in a row at Mackey Arena. Over the last two seasons, the Boilers are an incredible 31-1 at home. They're 63-4 over the last four seasons, which have all ended in NCAA Tournament appearances.

Purdue was not the only Big Ten school to have had a solid year at the gate, either. The conference averaged 12,691 fans per home game, more than 1,000 greater than the next-best conference (the SEC). It was the 43rd consecutive season that the Big Ten has led the nation in men's basketball attendance. While college football teams worry about declining attendance over the last decade, Big Ten men's basketball is in better shape than ever.

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