Jan. 15, 2013
For the second-straight season, the University of Minnesota ranked third nationally in attendance, announced by the NCAA. Hawaii and Big Ten opponent Nebraska were the only two teams that topped Golden Gopher Volleyball in 2012. Trailing Minnesota was Penn State and Wisconsin, followed by Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Purdue, Illinois and Texas.
Minnesota bettered its 2011 regular season attendance (47,896) to 53,050 fans in 2012. The Gophers played 15 of its 16 home matches at the Sports Pavilion and played one match in Williams Arena, averaging 3,316 fans. Minnesota recorded 46,735 fans (averaged 3,116) in 2010 and 51,541 (averaged 3,965) in 2009. In the last decade, the Gophers have maintained an average of over 2,000 fans to see a Minnesota volleyball match and nearly 4,000 in four of the past six years. This season, Hawaii averaged 6,675 fans per match, while Nebraska held 4,287 fans in the Coliseum’s final year.
The NCAA also recorded single-match attendance records. In 2012, NCAA Division I volleyball had 40 matches with 5,000 plus attendance. The Gophers contributed to three, all of which were at home. Minnesota’s match against Nebraska (11/16), drew a season-best 5,368 fans, while the Minnesota/Penn State (9/29) match had 5,147 fans. The lone match at Williams Arena against Illinois (10/28) had 5,121. The NCAA Championship Final between Texas and Oregon held the top single-match attendance, set at 16,448, while the NCAA semifinals drew 13,385 fans.