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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Friday, April 29, 2011

It worked! NBA talent leads to much improved attendance at home games

Having an NBA-ready center and an explosive offense led the Golden Grizzlies to another NCAA tournament berth, and accordingly put butts in the seats. Oakland averaged 4,130 fans at home this past season, almost 1,400 better than the previous season, which was the 11th-largest increase in the nation over that time.
To put that in perspective, the O'rena's listed capacity is around 3,000. The average figure includes December's game at The Palace, which seated 17, 115.
Oakland achieved a season-high 3,934 in the O'rena for the home finale against South Dakota State Feb. 19. The Grizzlies twice hit 3,805: Jan. 8 vs. Western Illinois and Feb. 12 vs. IPFW.
Kentucky again led the nation in home attendance with 23, 603 per game. Tennessee, which Oakland upset in December, was fifth in the nation with 18,952 per.
Division I attendance in 2010-11 showed the fourth-best mark all-time at more than 27,600, but overall attendance was down less than 1 percent year over year.

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