Director of Public and Media Relations
With March Madness underway, fan attendance at the 2013 Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments continues to increase. Attendance at the men’s basketball tournament reached nearly 430,000 fans and the women’s tournament has seen a significant increase over last year.
Total attendance through the first- and second-round games of the 2013 women’s basketball tournament was 155,212, a growth of 31,372 fans from last year. The per session average of 4,850 fans was also a 20 percent increase from last year’s per session attendance average during the first- and second-rounds.
“We are excited to see the continued growth and support of the women’s basketball fans,” said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball championships. “We are looking forward to experiencing momentum throughout the rest of the women’s basketball tournament.”
The men’s basketball tournament has also seen an increase in attendance, with a total of 427,538 through the third round games, a 4.5 percent increase over last year.
“More fans are watching the tournament not only in the stands, but also online and through broadcasts,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships. “As we celebrate 75 years of March Madness, the fan excitement around the tournament provides a great experience for the student-athletes.”
Host cities for both tournaments have experienced large crowds. Tuesday’s second-round women’s games attracted 9,652 fans in Waco, Texas that included former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, while Vice President Joe Biden was part of a sellout crowd to watch Delaware defeat North Carolina in Newark, Del. Louisville also had a crowd of 9,236 fans cheering on the Cardinals to victory. The 2013 championship is on track to record the highest attendance numbers since 2008.
The men’s championship also featured strong numbers through the first three rounds. The Dayton, Kansas City, Philadelphia and San Jose regional sites were at nearly 100 percent capacity. In addition, Auburn Hills, Mich., and Philadelphia recorded the largest total attendance with 60,415 and 60,375, respectively, for the second- and third-rounds. CBS Sports’ and Turner Sport’s exclusive live coverage of the 2013 men’s tournament averaged a 6.3 overnight rating/share, the highest rating for the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament in 23 years, according to Nielsen metered market ratings. Access to the games and mobile devices with NCAA March Madness Live, managed by Turner Sports, also set all-time marks for the application by garnering 36.6 million live video streams, doubling the live video streams for the entire 2012 tournament. More than 10 million hours of live video streaming also occurred during the opening week of the men’s tournament, representing a 198 percent increase from 2012.