By Justin VanLaere

For the second consecutive year, the Iowa Men’s Basketball program has seen a marked uptick in attendance inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  Chalk it up to Fran McCaffery’s style of play.  Chalk it up to more wins by the team.  Chalk it up to free pizza.  However you want to look at it, the fans are starting to do their part in making Carver-Hawkeye Arena a raucous environment for opposing teams.

Iowa’s average attendance for all home games for the 2011-12 season was 11,841.  More importantly, the conference-only attendance was a very respectable 13,254 per game.  This marks the second consecutive year under Fran McCaffery that attendance has improved.

Here’s a comparison:

2008-09 (Tood Lickliter’s second season): ALL GAMES – 10,861, B1G GAMES – 12,339
2009-10 (Todd Lickliter’s last season): ALL GAMES – 9,550, B1G GAMES – 10,489
2010-11 (Fran McCaffery’s first season):  ALL GAMES – 11,635, B1G GAMES – 12,188
2011-12 (Fran McCaffery’s second season):  ALL GAME – 11,841, B1G GAMES – 13,254


Iowa finished 7th in the Big Ten in attendance for the 2011-12 season, behind Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State, and Purdue.

A note on capacities of the Big Ten Arenas.  Iowa has the 5th largest arena in the conference at a capacity of 15,400.

Here are some numbers I ran showing the arena capacities, the attendance for ALL games and CONF games, as well as the % of the arena that was filled for the ALL games and CONF games.

Here’s a look at the last 4 years of conference only attendance and what percentage of the arena was filled.  This assumes arena capacity did not change in the last four years.  Iowa did reduce theirs by 100 seats from last year to this year.  MSU bumped up 38 seats in 2010 – they have sold out for many, many seasons.

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Iowa still has some work to do to get back to the environment of the 80’s and 90’s inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  But like the team’s play on the court, you can see progress.