From staff reports/Photo by Allen Sharpe
For the third straight season, South Carolina women’s basketball team led the nation in attendance, averaging 12,277 fans in the 2016-17 season.
The NCAA released its final season records Tuesday, showing the national champion Gamecocks as the only women’s basketball program to average at least 10,000 fans.
South Carolina hosted the highest attended regular season game in Colonial Life Arena with a sellout of 18,000 against Kentucky on Feb. 16, 2017, and played in the overall highest attended game of the season in the NCAA National Championship game at American Airlines Center in Dallas, which had 19,229 fans.
Colonial Life Arena hosted six of the nation’s top 10 attended games in 2016-17 and 12 of the top 20. The Gamecocks’ NCAA Tournament second-round win over Arizona State in front of 8,276 was the highest attended campus-site game in the 2017 event.
In addition to leading the nation in attendance for three consecutive seasons, South Carolina paced NCAA Division I programs in percentage increase twice as the state has embraced the program over the last five seasons. Since the 2012-13 team drew 3,952 fans per game, South Carolina increased attendance by 61.2 percent in 2013-14 (6,371) and another 93.0 percent by 2014-15 (12,293).
Since the Gamecocks’ attendance began its steep climb toward 10,000 in 2013-14, South Carolina has posted a 63-2 record at Colonial Life Arena, including a pair of undefeated 16-0 seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15 as part of a streak of 45 consecutive home wins.
Like South Carolina, the SEC led all conferences in home attendance for the third straight season with league schools combining to draw 4,221 fans per game in 2016-17. The league boasted three schools among the nation’s top 10 in attendance.
The South Carolina 2017-18 season ticket renewal deadline is Sept. 13. Fans interested in buying season tickets for the Gamecocks’ upcoming campaign can place a deposit either online at GamecocksOnline.com or by calling the South Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-4SC-FANS (472-3267).