IMLCA to Evaluate Declining NCAA Championships Attendance

Forestdale, MA -- The Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association has established a committee to evaluate the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, specifically the downturn in attendance.

"The IMLCA was formed to help build the game of lacrosse and monitor the integrity of the game, so it is with these founding principles that the IMLCA Board of Directors has determined that the Association would be proactive in addressing this disturbing trend," said Phil Buttafuoco, IMLCA Executive Director.

Individuals from within the coaching community, athletic administrators and the corporate world are being invited to participate on the committee. The IMLCA anticipates the committee will conduct several conference calls during the months of June and July and submit a position paper to the NCAA for consideration during the summer meeting of the NCAA Divisions I, II and III Men's Lacrosse Committees.

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To amplify on the "disturbing trend" that the IMLCA mentions as it pertains to Division I ... The peak for attendance at the Division I lacrosse championship was 2007 in Baltimore. That year the semifinals drew a record 52,004 and the finals 48,443 (surpassed only, and just barely, in 2008) for a total of 100,447 fans.

For the tournament that just ended in Philadelphia, the figures were 28,444 + 28,224 = 56,668. One has to go back to 2002 (at Rutgers) to find a tournament with fewer people attending. You can see the figures below. Let's consider a few of the explanations people have advanced.



How much does the location of the event matter? Only three venues have been used over the last 11 years: Baltimore (5 times) and Philadelphia and Foxborough (3 times each). We've often heard complaints about Foxborough (or perhaps any location not in the Baltimore-Washington-Philadelphia area). But consider the average semifinal plus final attendance figures for these three locations:


The numbers favor Baltimore. However, the differences among the venues are far from striking. And the final four attendance at all three has dropped since the peak years (2006-2008) in which each city hosted the event once.

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