Fans boost Penn State to nation's best in 2018-19 home attendance survey

June 12, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s passionate alumni and fans flocking to events this past year have helped the Nittany Lions remain the nation’s premier program in top 10 home attendance averages.

In a survey of NCAA attendance figures for 17 sports during 2018-19, eight Penn State teams ranked in the top 10 in average home attendance, the most of any Division I institution nationally. Three Nittany Lion squads ranked No. 2 nationally in average home attendance.

The 17 sports included in the survey by Penn State Athletics were: baseball, field hockey, football, softball, wrestling and the following men’s and women’s sports: basketball, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.

These eight Penn State teams ranked in the top 10 in average home attendance in 2018-19, according to the NCAA (national rank): field hockey (second), football (second), men’s gymnastics (sixth), men’s hockey (seventh), women’s soccer (sixth), men’s volleyball (10th), women’s volleyball (seventh) and wrestling (second). The Nittany Lion women’s hockey team was No. 11 and men’s lacrosse was No. 14 in average home attendance.

Penn State Athletics home attendance 2018-19
IMAGE: Penn State Athletics

Ohio State was second nationally with six teams in the top 10 in average home attendance, followed by Michigan and Nebraska with five. Six schools had four teams in the top 10 in average home attendance: LSU, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Penn State led all Big Ten institutions in average home attendance in field hockey, men’s gymnastics and women’s soccer, and was second in football and wrestling in 2018-19. The Nittany Lion men’s volleyball team led all EIVA programs in average home attendance.

“These numbers are just another example of what we already know: that the Penn State fanbase is the nation’s best,” said Chris Grosse, assistant athletic director for marketing. “The level of loyal support that our student-athletes receive is unmatched and makes Happy Valley a challenging place for the opposition. The pride and passion of Penn Staters continues to set us apart in intercollegiate athletics, and we greatly appreciate the tremendous impact our students, alumni and fans have for our student-athletes and at our events.”

Penn State teams in top 10 in average home attendance in 2018-19

Sport                             Avg. Attendance       National Rank           Big Ten Rank

Field hockey                          559                                2                                 1

Football                              105,485                            2                                 2         

Men’s gymnastics                405                                6                                 4

Men’s hockey                       5,801                              7                                 4

Women’s soccer                  1,598                              6                                 1

Men’s volleyball                     610                              10                                1*

Women’s volleyball              3,346                             7                                 4

Wrestling                               7,715                             2                                 2

*Men’s volleyball is a member of the EIVA

Penn State among the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs

Under the leadership of Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s).

Nittany Lion students have posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent the past two years, which ties Penn State’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2018 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time and had a school record 368 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2018-19 (3.0 grade-point average or higher).

Penn State’s 51 NCAA championships all-time (79 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 21 NCAA titles since 2007, including a fourth consecutive NCAA wrestling championship in March, are tied for No. 3 nationally and lead all Big Ten institutions. The Nittany Lions won six Big Ten championships or tournament titles in 2018-19 to boost their total to 113 since capturing their first Big Ten crown in 1992-93.

Last Updated August 30, 2019