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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Virginia Tech, other ACC teams see attendance drops

This has not been a good year for Virginia Tech men’s basketball on the court, but it may have been worse at the box office. The release of final attendance figures after the end of the regular season reveals that the Hokies attracted fewer fans per game to Cassell Coliseum than they ever have since joining the ACC before the 2004-05 season.

Virginia Tech’s average attendance was 8,395, the lowest it has been since 2003-04, when the Hokies were still in the Big East, and the second year in a row attendance has been less than 9,000 fans per game. Cassell Coliseum’s capacity is 9,847.

Virginia Tech was one of nine ACC teams to see its paid attendance decrease from a year ago. As The Post projected would happen last month, the league finished with its lowest average attendance (9,632) since the 1984-85 season, and it’s the first time in more than 20 years conference-wide attendance figures dropped below 10,000 fans per game.

The Hokies, though, didn’t see their attendance fall the most in the league. That distinction belongs to Maryland, which averaged more than 1,700 fewer fans per game when compared with last season. Florida State and Georgia Tech also saw their average attendance fall by more than 1,000 fans per game. Virginia Tech’s average attendance dropped by 537 fans per game.

Only North Carolina and Virginia saw attendance figures rise this season, while Duke sold out all of its games once again.

On the bright side, the Hokies were one of just four ACC teams that filled its arena to more than 75 percent capacity this season (Duke, North Carolina and Clemson were the others). Virginia Tech also had more sellouts (four) than any team in the league other than Duke and North Carolina. Virginia Tech sold out 10 games a year ago.

There were actually just seven sellouts in the entire league that didn’t involve Duke or North Carolina, and the Hokies were involved in three of them (Virginia Tech at Virginia, Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech and North Carolina State at Virginia Tech) — a notable feat considering this was just the second time Virginia Tech has finished the regular season with a below-.500 record under Coach Seth Greenberg.

Of course, anybody who attended all of the Hokies’ home games this year realizes the only two contests in which Cassell Coliseum was close to full capacity were the losses to the Blue Devils and Tar Heels.

It remains to be seen what attendance figures will be like at this week’s ACC tournament in Atlanta, but if the conference’s regular season was any indication, chances are there will be tickets available. Virginia Tech has yet to sell out its allotment.

By Mark Giannotto  |  11:27 AM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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