Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Thank You Fans!

Posted by Josh on March 14, 2007

I’m going to go out on a small limb and say that having nearly 17,000 fans at the S. Alabama game may have set a single-game NIT attendance record. I couldn’t find any hard facts online, but I did find this on the official Iowa State athletics website (Hilton is their arena name):

Iowa State and Hilton broke NIT attendance marks in 2004. The Cyclones drew 12,196 and 14,020 fans in their two NIT games they hosted, averaging 13,144 fans per contest.

Unless there was some massive NIT game attendance in the past two years, tonight’s Dome crowd probably set a record (perhaps one which excludes the games in MSG). The newspaper might have the actual figures in their story tomorrow morning, but whether it is really a record or not is actually beside the point. I’m just incredibly glad that the fans came out. Past NITs in the Dome drew around 5000 fans; the atmosphere was intensely depressing. Of course, those teams tended to be below SU standards. They faded at the end of the year and deserved to miss the NCAAs, and the fans stayed home in disgust. I was worried that the jaded Syracuse community would have a similar response this year for the wrong reasons (i.e. just because it was the NIT) and that the team would be let down. But we got a huge outpouring of support which just made me plain old happy. And it had to have lifted the team’s spirits and helped buoy them during the game — in fact, I’d venture to say that if there had been a poor turnout SU would have lost, given the way the game went. Next game is Monday, and the students will be back from break so hopefully another big crowd will be there to help propel the Orange closer to NYC.

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One more thread in the silver lining
As one fan on the Axeman blog pointed out, playing in the NIT at least gives Boeheim a chance to catch up to, and possibly pass, Jim Calhoun’s win total. JB is at 749 now, with JC at 750. The most recent totals I found are (of course) at Wikipedia, updated through the end of February. Adding in SU’s most recent wins (over UConn in the BET and tonight) gives the current totals. (UConn ended the season losing 4 straight games.) I’m sure JB cares not a whit about this, but it’s one more little droplet of pride for the SU fans.


One Response to “Thank You Fans!”

  1. FCo said

    I recieved an email from Syracuse University that said:

    FYI-The NIT attendance record is 23,522 (Kentucky vs. Clemson, in 1979
    in Lexington, Ky.).

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