#SummitMBB Ranks Seventh in NCAA League Tournament Attendance Average

#SummitMBB Ranks Seventh in NCAA League Tournament Attendance Average

ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League's Men's Basketball Tournament ranked seventh overall, best among traditional mid-major leagues, and increased its regular season average and ranking in the NCAA's 2017 attendance report released Tuesday. Additionally, a pair of Summit League programs ranked among the top 30 average increases.

With an average attendance of 9,978 fans per session at its 2017 tournament, The Summit League's figure was best among the 22 traditional mid-major conferences, up from third in 2016.  Overall, The Summit League moved up one spot from an eighth-place position in last year's NCAA rankings and trailed only the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-12.  Among leagues outside of the "Power Five" conferences, only the Big East averaged more fans at its tournament.

"There is a tremendous amount of pride in our tournament, from the league and its member schools, to our fans and the city of Sioux Falls," said Commissioner Tom Douple. "Ranking seventh nationally, and best among comparable leagues, is a testament to the passion and support that our marquee event receives. The attendance figures our tournament produces and the resulting company we keep in these rankings should resonate with the college basketball world and solidify the national reputation of our league and our basketball championship."

The Summit League's total tournament attendance figure of 39,912 ranked 10th overall, up four positions from the previous season, despite tying for the third-fewest sessions (four) of the 32 tournaments in the rankings.

Regular season attendance across The Summit League increased by 15.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. The league averaged 2,310 per home game, more than 300 spectators better than the previous season, to rank 19th overall. Those figures placed The Summit League ninth among traditional mid-majors, up four spots.

A pair of Summit League teams, North Dakota State and Fort Wayne, placed among the NCAA's top-30 largest average attendance increases over the previous year. The Bison finished 11th on the list with 1,054 more fans per game, a 37.9 percent increase. The Mastodons tied for 30th, adding 683 spectators per game, a 51.1 percent increase.

2017 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT AVERAGE ATTENDANCE

Rank

Average/Session

League

1.

18,972

+Big 12

2.

17,556

Big East

3.

16,543

+ACC

4.

15,023

+SEC

5.

14,485

+Pac-12

6.

13,281

+Big Ten

7.

9,978

*SUMMIT LEAGUE

8.

9,339

*Missouri Valley

9.

7,830

*West Coast

10.

7,286

*MEAC

* denotes traditional mid-major

+ denotes "Power Five"

 


ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League features men's basketball teams from eight member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois with North Dakota becoming an official member for the 2018-19 season. In 2016-17, The Summit League finished with an all-time best No. 14 Sagarin Rating, achieved its sixth consecutive league top-20 RPI finish. The Summit League sent three teams to the postseason for the sixth straight year, highlighted by the deepest postseason tournament run since 2012. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships again posted record-setting attendance figures, posting new marks for overall and session attendance. This season's event returns to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 3-6, 2018. For more information about the league, "See The Summit" by visiting www.thesummitleague.org and following Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops.

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