Discover more from Write For California
Cal basketball holds the worst major program attendance by wide margin at 2155 fans a game
More fans attended Stanford, St. Mary's, UC Irvine, and San Jose State games than Cal games in 2023, dropping them to tenth in the state of California.
The California Golden Bears have shown a stunning lack of interest in their men’s basketball program the last several years, and now the lack of interest has been entirely reciprocated by its fanbase.
Cal is now the worst attended program among major college basketball programs, and it’s not even close. Cal averaged 2155 fans a game this year in an arena that can seat 11588, which would probably be one of the worst capacity percentages of any major program.
Conference by conference, looking at the bottom-dwellers in attendance, Cal lags far behind everyone.
ACC: Georgia Tech at 4713
Big East: DePaul at 3881
Big Ten: Northwestern at 4614
Big 12: TCU at 6067
Pac-12: Cal at 2155
SEC: Ole Miss at 6097
The four worst major programs in fan attendance all live in the Pac-12. In terms of the bottom five Pac-12 programs, Cal averaged over a thousand less than its nearest competition.
Cal was even passed by California mid-majors in overall attendance. St. Mary’s, a program which seats only 3500 in McKeon Pavilion, drew a higher fan attendance per game this season than Cal at 3197. NCAA Tournament bound San Diego State is drawing 12,251 a game this year.
San Jose State, which is 5th place in the Mountain West and has very little shot at the NCAA tournament, outdrew Cal this year at 2170 a game. Fresno State is now doubling Cal attendance at 5056. California Baptist, a .500 WAC program, is averaging a thousand more fans than Cal.
Cal was very close to drawing even with local Bay Area mid-majors Santa Clara (1604 a game) and University of San Francisco (1363 a game). Cal State Bakersfield (1247), San Diego (1313), Long Beach State (1650), Pacific (1556) are in arm’s length.
Cal wasn’t even the second highest UC in men’s basketball attendance. That honor belongs to the distinguished Anteaters of UC Irvine.
UC Davis: 1037
UC San Diego: 1447
UC Santa Barbara: 1586
UC Irvine: 2533
So if you were to rank all the Division 1 California programs, Cal once a fixture for 3rd-best attendance, is now in tenth place in the state.
San Diego State: 12251
Fresno State: 5056
California Baptist: 3367
St. Mary’s: 3197
UC Irvine: 2533
San Jose State: 2170
If Mark Fox continues on as head coach, who knows how much further down we can go.