Georgia Tech

Behind the numbers: Attendance watch

Attendance has been a hot-button issue all season for the Yellow Jackets and a host of teams across the nation this season (trust me, we'll be talking about attendance more in the coming days)

According to the USA Today, major conference schools nationwide are witnessing a 5 percent drop in attendance for men's basketball games. You can blame mega television contracts, increased viewership, streaming Internet, the economic downturn and changing ticket prices and policies for a large part of it. At Georgia Tech, all of those things and more have combined to showcase some of the more dismal-looking crowds Alexander Memorial Coliseum has ever seen.

Of course, the fact the team has been losing -- and most notably, losing at home -- has been a point of contention for Jackets fans all season. Others suggest the current coaching situation and climate is keeping them from leaving their homes. Whatever the varied reasons, the fact of the matter is, from an attendance standpoint, today's Jackets aren't too far off the Jackets of 11 and 12 years ago. In Bobby Cremins' final four seasons as head coach, Tech saw a 36 percent decrease in home attendance. Since 2008, the peak of attendance under current head coach Paul Hewitt, the drop off has been 35 percent. Here are the numbers:

Under Cremins (attendace....overall record)

1995: 7,719 (ranked 62nd nationally)....18-12

1996: 10,346 (ranked 41st nationally)....24-12

1997: 7,856....9-18

1998: 7,458....19-14

1999: 6,634....15-16

2000: 6,597 (ranked 80th nationally)....13-17

Under Hewitt

2005: 9,191 (AMC capacity now 9,191)....20-12

2006: 9,191....11-17

2007: 9,191....20-12

2008: 9,191....15-17

2009: 7,477....12-19

2010: 7,979....23-13

2011: 5,967 (entering next Sunday's arena finale)....11-16