Marquette Wire

Attendance at games rebounds from earlier decrease

Marquette+men%27s+basketball+coach+Buzz+Williams+during+Marquette%27s+game+versus+No.+4%2F5+Villanova+Saturday%2C+Jan.+25%2C+2014.+%28Photo+by+Mike+Cianciolo+%2F+michael.cianciolo%40marquette.edu%29
Marquette men's basketball coach Buzz Williams during Marquette's game versus No. 4/5 Villanova Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (Photo by Mike Cianciolo / michael.cianciolo@marquette.edu)

Marquette men's basketball coach Buzz Williams during Marquette's game versus No. 4/5 Villanova Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (Photo by Mike Cianciolo / michael.cianciolo@marquette.edu)

Marquette men's basketball coach Buzz Williams during Marquette's game versus No. 4/5 Villanova Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (Photo by Mike Cianciolo / michael.cianciolo@marquette.edu)

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Despite an initial drop at the beginning of the season, the men’s basketball team saw an increase in attendance for the first time since 2007, as well as an increase in general and student ticket sales.

This year’s total revenue from ticket sales is the second most successful in program history. The program’s highest ticket revenue year was the 2009-10 season and the now-third highest was in 2010-11.

Attendance increased despite the team not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament or the NIT Tournament. Attendance was down toward the middle of the season, but a late surge, consisting of a big game against Creighton, National Marquette Day and Senior Day created a 2 percent increase from last year.

“We had a great year for season ticket sales on both the general public and student ticket side,” said Assistant Athletic Director Kimberly Mueller in an email. “We also saw an increase in ticket revenue for the third year in row.”

Mueller also said the increase in sales was inversely related to the decrease in complimentary ticket offers. Not offering these tickets and increasing ticket prices brought in more overall revenue, but hurt walk-up sales.

Joseph Flores, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences and a Marquette SuperFan, said he believed the fans’ decision to come out to games when the team struggled said a lot about the fan base as well as the marketing department.

“Since National Marquette Day, attendance went up because we were kind of approaching the point where we definitely needed to win almost every single game to even get an on the bubble or at-large bid or Marquette’s doing a really good job of promoting,” Flores said. “(Marquette Athletics) sends out emails, text messages. I even had a few players give me a few recorded calls but I think they do a real good job.”

The dates of the home games also contributed. Marquette has no control over Big East scheduling, which takes up the majority of the season. Many games occurred during breaks and weeknights, which drew smaller crowds.

This did not stop students from attending games though. The number of students at games compared to the number that bought fanatics tickets ranged from 55 percent to as high as 95 percent for the bigger games. On average, 80 percent of the general public that bought tickets attended games.

“The student section is what makes our home games exciting for a lot of fans,” Mueller said. “We always want our students to have a fantastic home game experience at the (BMO Harris Bradley Center), and we do have a SuperFans organization that meets regularly to discuss the student experience.”

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