With just one game at Comcast Center remaining — Sunday afternoon’s contest against Virginia — Maryland is on pace for a 13 percent drop in attendance this season.
Through 16 of the Terrapins’ scheduled 17 home games, men’s basketball has drawn an average of 12,975 fans per game. That’s 1,935 fewer than the 14,910 Maryland drew in 2010-11.
And it represents a 22.7 percent drop over the last two years. In 2009-10, men’s basketball averaged 16,792 for home games.
A weak December slate of visitors when school was still in session (Mount St. Mary’s, Florida International) surely didn’t help. But Maryland drew a capacity crowd for only two ACC contests (Duke and North Carolina). The 12,871 who showed up for the Feb. 21 rematch against Miami, which had beaten the Terrapins in double overtime three weeks earlier, was a particular disappointment, drawing fewer fans than the season opener against UNC Wilmington.
Last month, The Post’s Mark Giannotto wrote about about declining attendance in the ACC in general, with Maryland and Virginia Tech on pace for the steepest drops. At that stage, the ACC was headed toward its fourth consecutive year of declining attendance for men’s basketball.
And it mirrors a national trend that sports economists attribute to a combination of the sluggish economy and the allure of high-definition television. And it’s compounded when a team’s performance drops.
In Maryland’s case, with just 12,975 showing up for games at 17,950-seat Comcast Arena, it’s not an ideal time for the “re-seating campaign” that’s planned for this spring, in which season ticket holders will be offered a chance to upgrade their seats.
Here’s a look at this season’s game-by-game attendance at Comcast Center, where the Terps have posted a 13-3 record under first-year Coach Mark Turgeon:
Nov. 13 - UNC Wilmington 12,873
Nov. 25 - Florida Gulf Coast 12,080
Nov. 29 - Illinois 13,187
Dec. 7 - Mount St. Mary’s 9,875
Dec. 14 - Florida International 11,679
Dec. 23 - Radford 9,979
Dec. 28 - Albany 11,751
Dec. 31 - Samford 11,429
Jan. 3 - Cornell 11,395
Jan. 11 - Wake Forest 13,357
Jan. 15 - Georgia Tech 11,776
Jan. 25 - Duke 17,950
Jan. 28 - Virginia Tech 16,976
Feb. 4 - North Carolina 17,950
Feb. 16 - Boston College 12,465
Feb. 21 - Miami 12,871
Mar. 4 – Virginia TBD