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OSU Wrestling Finishes Season with Third Highest Average Attendance since 2006

Exploring OSU’s recent attendance data.

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Attendance is a topic I really enjoy diving into and writing about. Even more so when it’s trending in a better direction, and I’m happy to report more of that type of news after this weekend.

Prior to Bedlam, I dug into the numbers and noted that OSU needed 6,269 attendees to average their third-highest attendance since 2006, the last year the Cowboys won a national title. On Sunday the Cowboys had 7,070 fans in attendance for Bedlam.

This met that mark and was also the fourth largest wrestling crowd in Gallagher-Iba during that time period. Here are the top five duals since 2006.

1. 2017 Penn State: 14,059
2. 2019 Iowa: 13,811
3. 2017 Iowa: 7,809
4. 2019 OU: 7,070
5. 2007 OU: 7,014

The 2017 Penn State attendance was an arena record and the most attended home wrestling match in Oklahoma State history. Iowa in 2019 was the third-highest attended event in Gallagher-Iba arena behind the 2017 Penn State dual and basketball vs. Missouri in 2007.

This big crowd for Bedlam also resulted in an overall average for this season of 3,788.

Opponent Attendance
Minnesota 5,324
Princeton 2,704
Northern Colorado 2,798
West Virginia 3,027
Pittsburgh 3,500
South Dakota State 2,767
Missouri 3,111
OU 7,070
Total 30,301
Average 3,788

This was the third-highest average for the Cowboys since 2006 behind last year at 5,226 and 2017 at 5,041.

Year Average
2007 3,749
2008 2,583
2009 2,946
2010 2,752
2011 2,741
2012 2,564
2013 2,559
2014 2,713
2015 3,002
2016 3,687
2017 5,041
2018 3,152
2019 5,226
2020 3,788

In the last five years, OSU has averaged over 3,000 attendees per dual each season. In the 10 years prior to that wrestling only averaged over 3,000 attendees three times, and one of those years was during a national championship season in 2006.

Here is how last season stacks up next to this season.

2018-19 Attendance
Wyoming 3,215
Oklahoma 5,238
Iowa State 4,915
Northern Iowa 2,805
Lehigh 2,842
Air Force 3,760
Iowa 13,811
Total 36,586
Average 5,227
2019-2020 Attendance
Minnesota 5,324
Princeton 2,704
Northern Colorado 2,798
West Virginia 3,027
Pittsburgh 3,500
South Dakota State 2,767
Missouri 3,111
OU 7,070
Total 30,301
Current Average 3,788

The Iowa home finale in 2019 had a much larger number of attendees than anything in the 2019-20 season, but both the OU and Minnesota duals in the 2019-2020 season were more packed in than anything besides Iowa in 18-19.

The lower end numbers in 19-20 were slightly worse than the ones in 18-19. The Cowboys had three duals with under 3,000 in 19-20 with only two in 18-19.

OSU is still behind many of the top programs in attendance. In the past 10 years, they’ve only finished in the top three once, but there has certainly been a positive trend in the past few years. The most notable thing to me is seeing these positives in this year, which is a bit of a rebuilding year, without some of the top teams on the schedule (Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State).

With Daton Fix coming back into the lineup next season and the No. 1 recruiting class in the country coming to Stillwater next year, will this trend continue upward? It will be interesting to follow.

Most of this attendance data was pulled from the Mat Talk Almanac and spreadsheets and data I’ve kept since I started writing here in 2017.

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