UF athletics eclipses one million fan mark in 2017-18

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Florida fans during the Gators home opener against Tennessee, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Special to Gatorsports.com

Florida fans have had a lot to celebrate during the 2017-18 athletics year, with plenty having witnessed the Gators’ success live along the way.

The Gators aren’t even done yet, either.

More than 1 million fans have come through the turnstiles at Gator athletics during the regular season and thousands more will do so in the coming weeks as UF hosts NCAA Regional softball action this weekend, and will do the same for baseball when regional sites are announced May 27.

“We appreciate the tremendous support from our fans at all of our venues that create a championship experience for our student athletes and coaches,” UF Athletics Director Scott Stricklin said.

Baseball, gymnastics and volleyball all set single-season and various attendance marks during the year, while six Gator teams ranked in the top 11 nationally in total or attendance average.

The top-ranked baseball team averaged a program-best 4,084 fans per game during the regular season and sold the most season tickets since 2006. The defending national champions also drew two single-game crowds more than 6,000 for the first time in school history.

Florida’s gymnastic program set a single-season average attendance record with 8,304 fans per meet. Overall, the Gators ranked fifth nationally in attendance and ninth among all NCAA Division I women’s sports. For the first time in school history, gymnastics enjoyed two sellouts during the regular season.

The national runner-up volleyball team established a program record with 3,249 fans per match in 2017. The team ranked sixth nationally in total attendance and eight in average attendance. A school-record 7,523 fans watched the 3-1 win over No. 1 Texas in August and UF was one of only four programs in the nation to draw 7,500-plus fans to a home match in 2017.

The prestigious Pepsi Florida Relays attendance figures topped 8,700 and witnessed the back-to-back National Outdoor Championship men’s team and eventual SEC Outdoor Championship women’s team perform

Winners of four consecutive SEC Championships, the softball team had a regular-season record seven crowds of 2,000-plus and ranked seventh nationally in average attendance.

The four-time Big East conference champion lacrosse team’s total attendance of 5,833 stands eighth nationally. Lacrosse faces James Madison Saturday at 1 p.m. in Harrisonburg, Va., with a NCAA Semifinal berth going to the winner.

The men’s basketball program sold out six games during the 2017-18 season and student attendance continued to rise with one in every five students on campus attending at least one game.

The Gator football program ranked 11th nationally in average attendance in 2017.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Seriously doubt the baseball team will be ranked #1 after this current dismal trip to Starkville, and now three straight conference losses, 2 ugly ones to MSU yesterday and tonight in particular.

    Looks like Sully decided tpnuse this trip to Starkvegas to develop hia young putxhera instead of actually trying to continue our record SEC series win streak, which ended after a disastrous choice to start Leftwich tonight and that promptly got is spanked 12 – 4 when all was said and done.

    At least we got the SEC Title outright tonight with UGA’s win over Arkansas.

    • The streak of winning confence series doesn’t mean anything in the scheme of things. I trust Sully over any fan on figuring out which pitchers he can trust in the coming weeks. Relax and enjoy that we have the best college baseball coach in America right here in Gatorville!