Alabama Gymnastics Dominates SEC Attendance Rankings; Stands Third among All Women’s Sports
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In a season that saw the Alabama gymnastics team win its sixth NCAA Championship overall and second in a row, the Crimson Tide was also among the national leaders when it comes to attendance among women’s athletics.
Alabama, which averaged 12,826 fans per meet this season, was once again among the top three when it comes to women’s collegiate attendance, standing alongside Tennessee basketball and Utah gymnastics as the only programs to draw more than 11,000 fans per event this season. It was the Tide’s second highest average in school history
Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson takes a great deal of pride not just in the number of fans her program draws year-in and year-out, but the type of fans who come to see her gymnasts compete.
“Our fans are truly amazing,” Patterson said. “They are so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and supportive; they are constantly lifting our ladies to new heights. They are without a doubt the best fans in the country.”
The Tide led the Southeastern Conference again, averaging 4,000 more fans per meet than Georgia and 6,000 more than Florida. The Tide’s mark includes two meets that drew more than 14,000 fans and two others that were over 12,000. This season marks the third year in a row that the UA gymnastics team has drawn four or more crowds over 12,000 fans.
The Tide had a capacity turnout of 15,075 for its Power of Pink meet against Arkansas and 14,501 for its season opener against Georgia. A total of 12,457 fans braved stormy weather to see Alabama take on the Florida Gators while the Tide drew 12,936 fans for its Tornado Relief meet against Missouri on the first weekend of spring break.
Alabama’s meet against Arkansas marks the Tide’s ninth sellout since 1997 and eighth time in the last seven years.
Alabama and Utah were the only two gymnastics teams in the nation with crowds over 11,000 this season, and the Tide had four. Alabama’s final home meet of the season, against North Carolina on the last weekend of UA’s spring break, drew 9,165 which would have been the largest crowd of the year for every team in the nation outside of Utah and Georgia.
After another undefeated season at home in front of some of the nation’s largest crowds, Alabama would go on to win its NCAA-best 27th regional championship as well as its second NCAA Championship in a row and sixth overall on the road. Even away from home, Alabama’s crowds were among the best.
“In addition to our amazing fan base at home, we have an amazing following on the road,” Patterson said. “It doesn’t matter where we are, whether we’re in Georgia, in Auburn or across the country in Seattle, our fans are always the loudest and most enthusiastic and that gives our ladies a big boost.”
Going into next year, Alabama has averaged over 10,000 fans per home meet in 10 different seasons, including a school record 13,786 in 2010.