SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As big as the the Big 10? It depends on how you look at it.
The Summit League women’s basketball tournament drew 24,193 total fans for an average of 6,048 per session in 2019. League official Ryan Powell said actual tickets and attendance differed that year because more tickets were sold than tickets scanned at the tournament site. A winter storm kept fans away during the early part of the four session tournament.
The Big 10 2019 women’s conference tournament drew 26,813 total fans for an average of 3,830 for seven sessions.
The conference was second in the nation in season attendance behind the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2018-2019, according to the NCAA. The Big 12, which includes Iowa State, was third.
If the Summit League had three more tournament sessions, the total number of fans would increase by 18,144 fans for a total of 42,337 fans, based on the per session average from Summit League and NCAA figures.
If the numbers are added that way, then the Summit League tournament outdrew the Big 10 women’s tournament.
But what about for the 2018-2019 season?
The 14 Big 10 teams played 234 games in 2018-2019. Those sessions drew 957,325 total fans or an average of 4,091, according to the NCAA.
The nine teams in the Summit League drew a total fans a 154,333 to 124 games for an average of 1,245 fans per session.
Summit League member South Dakota State University had 29,481 total fans at 14 home games. The University of South Dakota had 31,746 total fans at 13 home games.
But, the Big 10 had 110 more games. If 1,245 average fans is multiplied by 110 more sessions, its a total of 136,950 more fans for a total of 291,283 fans. This isn’t an exact comparison but it does provide some context. Still, the Big 10 drew about 2,800 more fans per game than Summit League teams.
The SEC drew 1,009,427 total fans in 236 games for 14 teams. The average attendance per games was 4,277.
SEC member South Carolina led the nation in attendance with 176,904 in 17 home games.
Iowa State University in Ames was in second place. The team had 191,462 in 20 home games for an average of 9,573.
The Big 12 drew 715,592 in 180 home games for an average of 3,976. There were 10 teams in the Big 12 last year.
The 2019 national champion and Big 12 member Baylor, in Waco, Texas, drew 104,234 in 17 games at home.
Big 10 teams Iowa and Purdue were ninth and 10th in attendance for last season. Iowa had 115,546 in 17 home games. Purdue had 110,747 in 17 home games. Iowa was 29-7 last year and 17-0 at home. Purdue was 19-15 and 13-4 at home.
Big 10 member Nebraska was 14-16 and 8-6 at home. The Cornhuskers drew 57,418 to 14 home games in Lincoln.