St. Louis Sports Online

Eric Niederhoffer 

St. Louis SportsOnline

columnist & principal photographer

Savvy Savvis SLU Seating 8 March 2005

The St. Louis University Billikens men's basketball team has a reputation for great attendance figures over the years (ranked sixth during the 1997-98 season with 17,000+ fans in attendance). But as many of you know (first hand many times), attendance varies with how well the home team is playing as well as who the competition is. With the December 18, 2003 announcement of an on-campus arena site, it might be interesting to take a look at the topic of basketball attendance.

In a recent St. Louis Sports Online TNP (Take No Prisoners), we read the following:

"*****Did you see the SLU report by Eric Niederhoffer on the recent Memphis game? One phrase stands out: 'reported inflated attendance'. Nice going Eric! Not so nice is what happened to (now ex-) women's coach Jill Pizzotti. She was fired. How's that five year deal you just inked looking now, Brad Soderberg?"

Do you know how many people attended the games during the 2004-2005 men's basketball season?

As the staff photographer for St. Louis Sports Online, my perspective would suggest that fewer fans attended the games than was reported in the press.

Let's use the following illustration from

and the following parameters:

A little math generates the following numbers:

Yes, this adds up to more (25,920) than the maximum 21,000 for basketball seating configuration. But that's not the point (but it helps to make the point).

If my memory serves me well, the media reports issued by SLU (and or Savvis Center) indicated an average of 8,000 fans at home games this past season.

If we use the official number, than we should observe the lower sections along the side of the court filled with fans along with sparsely populated lower sections on the ends and upper sections. A review of photographs from the season suggests that these observations were not met and that the reported attendance was inflated.

Savvy, very Savvy!


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