Delaware basketball attendance is rising, but still needs work

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Courtesy of Sarah Boekholder/University of Delaware Athletics
Justyn Mutts drives for a layup in front of a small Delaware crowd

BY
Associate Sports Editor

In a recent Colonial Athletic Association(CAA) match with conference rival Towson, the men’s basketball team was able to get a large showing from the Delaware faithful. Through the use of various social media platforms the team was able to stir up support to get Delaware fans to pack themselves into the Bob Carpenter Center. By the end of the night the Bob was almost at maximum capacity, with 94% of the arena filled.

Over the course of the first 11 home games this season the men’s basketball team had a total attendance of 27,19 and an average attendance of 2,472, which is 49% of the Bob’s capacity. Compared to the first 11 home games of last season, the team has filled around 8,000 more seats in total. This year, the team has filled 14% more seats, and the average attendance has seen an increase of about 800.

The increase in attendance is a positive sign for the team, however it still plagues the question: when will the Bob start filling up on a consistent basis? While the past three home games have garnered a higher turn out from fans with two-thirds or more of the Bob being filled, the overall trend shows that not a lot of people care to come out and watch the team.

Over the past six seasons the average attendance-per- game has been more than half the capacity of the Bob twice. The first was in 2013-2014 when the Blue Hens won the CAA tournament and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament. The second was the 2017-2018 season when the Blue Hens finished with a record of 13-18 and were knocked out in the second round of the CAA tournament. The other four seasons saw attendance sit at 2,000 to 2,200 people with the low being the 2018-2019 season, where the average attendance was 2,027 people.

For a team that is second in the CAA and is one game back from the No. 1 seed in the conference, the building should be packed on a regular basis.

The game against Towson was broadcast on CBS Sports Network, a nationally televised outlet. All over the team’s social media pages there were posts to, “Fill the Bob.” With continued push by the athletic department for both students and locals to attend games there is reason to believe attendance could spike in the coming weeks, months and years. Combine that with the continued success of the men’s basketball team and there is a foundation to build upon to have Delaware basketball games feel truly like a college hoops environment.

Delaware has two home games left until the start of the CAA tournament. Both games are against Northeastern and Hofstra, opponents that Delaware battled with in its first two respective meetings. The support of fans in the stands could play a big role in helping boost the Blue Hens towards the CAA tournament and possibly a spot in the NCAA tournament.

The Blue Hens host the Northeastern Huskies on Thursday, Feb. 20th with tip off set for 7:00 pm.

All stats are valid as of noon on Feb. 15.

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