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Mar
13
2017

2016 ACC Tournament attendance blew away 2017 Big 10 Tourney in battle for Washington, DC.

CoachK

Remember a few years ago when the ACC and Big 10 scheduled several years of their conference tournaments in same locales?

The ACC was going to Washington, DC in 2016, and the Big 10 was going in 2017. In 2017 the ACC was going to New York City, and next year the Big 10 goes there too. So who won the first battle for these big east coast cities.

The ACC won round 1 in a landslide.  These are the attendance figures pulled from last year’s ACC Tournament in Washington DC.  That’s a total of 125,142.

Session Game Time* Matchup# Television Attendance
First round – Tuesday, March 8
Opening Day 1 12:00 pm #12 NC State 75 vs #13 Wake Forest 72 ESPN2
ACC Network
7,302
2 2:00 pm #11 Florida State 88 vs #14 Boston College 66
Second round – Wednesday, March 9
1 3 12:00 pm #8 Pittsburgh 72 vs #9 Syracuse 71 ESPN
ACC Network
18,561
4 2:00 pm #5 Duke 92 vs #12 NC State 89
2 5 7:00 pm #7 Clemson 85 vs #10 Georgia Tech 88 (OT) ESPN2
ACC Network
18,561
6 9:00 pm #6 Virginia Tech 96 vs #11 Florida State 85
Quarterfinals – Thursday, March 10
3 7 12:00 pm #1 North Carolina 88 vs #8 Pittsburgh 71 ESPN
ACC Network
18,561
8 2:00 pm #4 Notre Dame 84 vs #5 Duke 79 (OT)
4 9 7:00 pm #2 Virginia 72 vs #10 Georgia Tech 52 20,719
10 9:00 pm #3 Miami 88 vs #6 Virginia Tech 82
Semifinals – Friday, March 11
5 11 7:00 pm #1 North Carolina 78 vs #4 Notre Dame 47 ESPN
ACC Network
20,719
12 9:00 pm #2 Virginia 73 vs #3 Miami 68
Championship – Saturday, March 12
6 13 9:00 pm #1 North Carolina 61 vs #2 Virginia 57 ESPN
ACC Network
20,719

By comparison here are the Big 10′s numbers.

1 1 4:30 pm No. 13 Penn State vs. No. 12 Nebraska
76–67OT
ESPN2
2 7:00 pm No. 14 Rutgers vs. No. 11 Ohio State
66–57
BTN
Second round – Thursday, March 9
2 3 12:00 pm No. 9 Illinois vs. No. 8 Michigan
55–75
BTN 12,189
4 2:45 pm No. 13 Penn State vs. No. 5 Michigan State
51–78
3 5 6:30 pm No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 7 Iowa
95–73
ESPN2  12,408
6 9:00 pm No. 14 Rutgers vs. No. 6 Northwestern
61–83
Quarterfinals – Friday, March 10
4 7 12:00 pm No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 1 Purdue
74–70OT
ESPN 12,334 
8 2:30 pm No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Minnesota
58–63
5 9 6:30 pm No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 2 Wisconsin
60–70
BTN 15,624
10 9:00 pm No. 6 Northwestern vs. No. 3 Maryland
72–64
Semifinals – Saturday, March 11
6 11 1:00 pm No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 4 Minnesota
84–77
CBS 13,984
12 3:30 pm No 6 Northwestern vs. No. 2 Wisconsin
76–48
Championship – Sunday, March 12
7 13 3:00 pm No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Wisconsin
71–56
CBS 12,902

The Big 10 did not release attendance figures to their opening round games.  It’s no wonder why, there were a ton of empty seats. The Big 10 reported a total 79,441 fans at their tournament. If we take out the opening round for the ACC so that we compare Apples to Apples, the ACC still outdrew the Big 10 19,640 –  13,240 per game. The ACC Tournament  was better attended by 30% over the Big 10.

A few things were at play… the ACC is the country’s best basketball conference, while the Big 10 is suffering a down year lacking an elite team. The Big 10 may have over-valued the influence of Maryland in this region. While some feared the ACC would lose their influence in the mid-atlantic, with the loss of Maryland – that is clearly not the case.

DC is geographically for the most part out of the Big 10′s region. This is the danger of going to far outside your home fan bases. I’m not saying the Big 10 shouldn’t haven tried, but they certainly lost this battle for Washington DC.

Oh and for NYC, the ACC has landed the first blow.

 

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