SBD/June 19, 2013/Colleges

NCAA Forming Committee To Study Declining Attendance Trend For Lacrosse Tournament

Attendance at this year's championship was 20,000 less than in '08
The NCAA and lacrosse coaches are "trying to determine why attendance at the sport’s top event has declined for five straight years even as participation is setting records," according to Curtis Eichelberger of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The NCAA’s committee that oversees championships later this summer will "discuss the decline" of attendance for the D-I championship game from 48,970 in '08 to 28,224 last month. The Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association has "appointed a committee to research the issue and report its findings to the NCAA." NCAA Associate Dir of Championships & Alliances Anthony Holman: "We want to see if we can get back to some of the numbers we had in the past. But we don’t want to be too quick to react, thinking something is broken." Eichelberger noted attendance at the women’s D-I championship, which "draws about a third of the men’s, has risen for two years." Holman said that among the potential reasons for the decline that will be explored are "more television exposure, higher ticket prices and the tradition of holding the event Memorial Day weekend." He said, "Five to 10 years ago, if you wanted to see top level lacrosse you were going to come to our championship. But the things that used to be unique to our championship aren’t necessarily unique anymore" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/18).
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