Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Good And the Not-So-Good About Iowa's Basketball Attendance

Although Iowa's basketball attendance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City in the Steve Alford coaching era is far from what it used to be, the university's spin-masters tried to paint a pretty picture today.

This was the the announcement from Iowa:

"The University of Iowa’s men’s basketball program averaged 11,900 fans at 16 home games during the 2004-05 season, a figure that ranked 22nd nationally among NCAA Division I institutions.

"Last season marked the 23rd consecutive season in which Iowa basketball ranked among the nation’s top 25 in home attendance. Iowa and Indiana are the only two Big Ten Conference schools who have ranked among the top 25 in home attendance each year since 1978 The NCAA kept only a top 10 prior to 1978.

"Overall, the Big Ten led the nation for the 29th straight season, averaging 12,530 at 180 home games during the season. Seven Big Ten programs ranked in the top 25 for the 2004-05 season.

"Iowa returns five starters and 10 lettermen from the squad that had a 21-12 overall record in 2004-2005."

However, to see how things have changed at Iowa, consider this information that's on the university's basketball website:

"Carver-Hawkeye Arena, one of the 15 largest university-owned facilities in the nation, serves as Iowa's home basketball arena. Opened in January of 1983, the building seats 15,500 for basketball.

"Capacity crowds have been the rule rather than the exception at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Over 4.8 million fans have viewed games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena the past 20 1/2 seasons.

"Iowa played 60 consecutive home games in front of sellout crowds and more recently had a streak of 41 consecutive sellouts for regular-season games. The single game record of 15,570 was set against Indiana in 1987."

That was then. This is now.

Iowa played in front of sellout crowds of 15,500 only twice last season--against Michigan State and Illinois.

Neither the Iowa-Iowa State nor Iowa-Northern Iowa game sold out. Iowa-Iowa State attracted 15,312 fans, Iowa-UNI drew only 10,349.

Some Big Ten games drew surprisingly-low crowds--10,289 for Michigan, 11,937 for Purdue, 11,157 for Ohio State, 12,057 for Minnesota, 12,424 for Northwestern and 14,364 for Indiana.

Obviously, some work needs to be done. Iowa should be selling out in basketball just as it sells out in football.


Iowa State athletic director Bruce Van De Velde has been named by the NCAA Championships and Competition Cabinet to serve on the NCAA Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee.

The subcommittee licenses all NCAA Division I-A bowl games and oversees postseason football championships in Division I-AA, II and III. The new responsibilities complement Van De Velde's continuing assignment on the NCAA Football Issues Committee.

Van De Velde's past NCAA duties include serving on the NCAA I-A Athletic Directors Strategic Planning Committee, the NCAA Committee for Financial Aid and on peer review teams for NCAA certification.