It helps to have the host school in the NCAA Tournament when it comes to semifinals attendance numbers.
The UCLA athletics department informed Off the Block on Friday that 2,935 people were in attendance for both men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament semifinal matches — the lowest semifinal attendance since 2007.
With UCLA playing host to its first NCAA Tournament in eight years, BYU swept Penn State and UC Irvine rallied in overtime to sweep Loyola in the two semifinals matches Thursday at the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Despite having almost 2,000 fewer people than last year’s semifinals at USC, the semifinal attendance was higher than the last time national championships was played at a school not in the NCAA Tournament. BYU in 2009 hosted event while not reaching the NCAA Tournament and had 2,564 people in attendance for the semifinals.
This was the fifth time in the last 20 years that THE semifinal attendance failed to surpass 3,000. Three of those five semifinals occurred when the host school was not in the NCAA tournament.
The 2013 semifinals attendance, though, was only 12 people fewer than the last time UCLA hosted the NCAA Tournament in 2005. UCLA that season reached the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the championship match before losing to Pepperdine.
In addition, this year’s semifinals were the 24th highest attended semifinals in the 43-year history of the NCAA Tournament.
The NCAA Tournament will conclude with the national championship match between the No. 1 seed BYU and the No. 2 seed UC Irvine on Saturday.
YEAR-BY-YEAR NCAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL ATTENDANCE
2013 semifinals: 2,935 attendance (at UCLA)
2012 semifinals: 4,735 attendance (at USC)*
2011 semifinals: 3,761 attendance (at Penn State)*
2010 semifinals: 3,865 attendance (at Stanford)*
2009 semifinals: 2,564 attendance (at BYU)
2008 semifinals: 4,472 attendance (at UC Irvine)
2007 semifinals: 2,129 attendance (at Ohio State)
2006 semifinals: 3,463 attendance (at Penn State)*
2005 semifinals: 2,947 attendance (at UCLA)*
2004 semifinals: 3,707 attendance (at Hawai’i)
2003 semifinals: 3,840 attendance (at Long Beach State)
2002 semifinals: 5,257 attendance (at Penn State)*
2001 semifinals: 4,202 attendance (at Long Beach State)
2000 semifinals: 2,293 attendance (at IPFW)*
1999 semifinals: 5,487 attendance (at UCLA)
1998 semifinals: 9,079 attendance (at Hawai’i)
1997 semifinals: 2,439 attendance (at Ohio State)
1996 semifinals: 3,708 attendance (at UCLA)*
1995 semifinals: 3,549 attendance (at Springfield, Mass.)
1994 semifinals: 7,587 attendance (at IPFW)*
1993 semifinals: 2,536 attendance (at UCLA)*
1992 semifinals: 5,711 attendance (at Ball State)
1991 semifinals: 5,184 attendance (at Hawai’i)
1990 semifinals: 2,836 attendance (at George Mason)
1989 semifinals: 2,192 attendance (at UCLA)*
1988 semifinals: 6,600 attendance (at IPFW)
1987 semifinals: 2,737 attendance (at UCLA)*
1986 semifinals: 3,315 attendance (at Penn State)*
1985 semifinals: 1,530 attendance (at UCLA)
1984 semifinals: 3,089 attendance (at UCLA)*
1983 semifinals: 2,942 attendance (at Ohio State)*
1982 semifinals: 1,835 attendance (at Penn State)*
1981 semifinals: N/A
1980 semifinals: 2,242 attendance (at Ball State)
1979 semifinals: 770 attendance (at UCLA)
1978 semifinals: 2,659 attendance (at Ohio State)*
1977 semifinals: 652 attendance (at UCLA)
1976 semifinals: 1,374 attendance (at Ball State)
1975 semifinals: 3,500 attendance (at UCLA)*
1974 semifinals: 1,842 attendance (at UC Santa Barbara)*
1973 semifinals/round-robin: 5,650 attendance (at San Diego State)*
1972 semifinals/round-robin: N/A
1971 semifinals/round-robin: N/A
1970 semifinals/round-robin: N/A
*Indicates host school playing in NCAA Tournament