The first sold-out season in school history moved the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team into the top 20 in the nation in average attendance.
Dayton ranked 19th in Division I, averaging 13,407 fans in 17 home games. It’s the highest the program has ranked since the 2004-05 season when it was 18th (12,570). Prior to that, it had not ranked in the top 20 since the 1977-78 season when it was 17th (11,500).
In UD Arena’s opening seasons, the program ranked fifth in 1969-70 (12,982), sixth in 1970-71 (12,767) and 10th in 1971-72 (12,741).
Counting the last 11 games of the 2019-20 season but not counting the 2020-21 season when attendance restrictions were in place because of the pandemic, Dayton has sold out the last 28 home games.
“Our tremendous fan support is well-known across the country,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said Wednesday in a press release. “But by no means is it taken for granted by our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff. We can never say ‘Thank You’ enough to the Flyer Faithful.”
Last season, the Flyers broke the UD Arena average attendance record of 13,364 set during the 2019-20 season. The previous record of 13,018 was set in the 2016-17 season. That broke the mark of 12,982 that had stood since the arena’s first season in 1969-70.
In 2019-20, the last season without attendance restrictions before this one, Dayton ranked 23rd (13,364). Dayton ranked 22nd in the 2018-19 season by averaging 12,957 fans per game. It ranked 23rd in the 2017-18 season with an average of 12,996 fans.
Not counting the 2020-21 season, Dayton has ranked in the top 25 in the last seven seasons, in the top 30 for 24 straight seasons and in the top 35 every season since UD Arena opened in the 1969-70 season.
With a total of 227,919 fans, UD more than doubled the attendance of any other A-10 program. It was also one of six schools in the nation with 100% capacity for the season. The others were: Nebraska; Connecticut; Purdue; Duke; and Michigan State.
Syracuse led the nation in attendance (20,017). Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee, all averaging more than 18,000 fans, rounded out the top five.
Dayton had the best attendance in Ohio and ranked one spot ahead of Ohio State (13,276). It’s the first time Dayton averaged more fans than Ohio State since the 2016-17 season when Dayton was 22nd (13,018) and Ohio State was 24th (12,324).
Virginia Commonwealth (6,827) was the next highest-ranked A-10 program at No. 68.
Wright State led the Horizon League (3,310). Miami ranked eighth in the Mid-American Conference (1,922).
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