July - 11 - 2024

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Top four teams in the nation in Division I men's wrestling home attendance.

New Brighton, MINNESOTA - After selling out another home schedule at the famed Carver-Hawkeye Arena, it's no surprise that for the 17th consecutive college wrestling season, the University of Iowa led the nation in Division I men's wrestling attendance as the National Wrestling Media Association released its annual figures on Thursday.

The Hawkeyes' allotment of 14,847 tickets were all snatched up for the six home dates during the 2023-24 college wrestling season, with a total attendance of 89,082.

Iowa was followed by Penn State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Oregon State.

Penn State's Performance

Penn State, which won its third straight NCAA Division I national championship, was second in attendance for the 12th consecutive year. The Nittany Lions averaged 7,337 fans per dual, which included selling out each of their six dates at Rec Hall (cap. 6,846) and drawing a season-best 12,049 for a Monday Big Ten dual meet against Rutgers.

Historical Milestones

Iowa’s sellout against Minnesota on January 15 and Penn State’s 12,000-plus attendance against Rutgers were the first two Division I dual meets in recorded history to draw over 10,000 fans on a Monday.

Iowa State's Highlights

Iowa State ranked third for the second time in the last three recorded seasons. The Cyclones averaged 6,691 fans over six home dates. The top date was registered against the rival Hawkeyes on November 23, which drew 14,267 fans, good enough for the fifth-best crowd in school history and the first crowd over 14,000 fans since the Cyclones hosted the Hawkeyes on February 19, 1982.

Oklahoma State and Oregon State

Oklahoma State drew an average of 5,871 to Gallagher-Iba Arena, with the best draw also coming against Iowa (13,721) on February 25, the final day of the regular season. That home crowd ranked as the third-largest in Oklahoma State history.

Oregon State had just two home duals this season, and with 8,540 showing up to Gill Coliseum for Penn State, the average ballooned to 5,240. The Beavers were one of just two schools with only two home duals tracked in the Top 25 attendance reports this season.

Road Draws

Iowa also was the top road draw, with the Hawkeyes bringing in the most fans to opposing venues seven of the eight times they hit the road for dual meets. They were the top draw at Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Penn, California Baptist, Illinois, and Northwestern. The Hawkeyes drew a total of 89,082 fans, followed by Oklahoma State’s 52,839 and Penn State’s 51,360. Iowa State was the only other school to draw more than 40,000 fans for the season, bringing in 40,150.

Other Top Schools

Oklahoma State was the top draw for five schools – NC State, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Penn State was also the top draw in five places - Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, and Oregon State, as well as being one of six sold-out opponents at Iowa. Ohio State had top crowds on the road for four opponents – Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Hofstra.

NC State, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Missouri round out the top 10 schools. NC State’s average of 4,304 was the highest in school history and included three sold-out dual meets with Oklahoma State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. The previous high for the Wolfpack was last season when they averaged just over 2,300. Michigan averaged over 4,000 for the first time in school history. The Wolverines averaged 4,196 over four home dates, topping the school’s previous high mark of 2,852 set in 2021-22. Ohio State averaged over 4,000 for the fifth time since 2017. Rutgers appeared in the top 10 for the ninth consecutive time, averaging 3,990 in nine home events.

Growth in Attendance

Six schools averaged more than 1,000 more fans per home event than the year prior – Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, NC State, Michigan, and Missouri.

A record 27 schools averaged over 1,000 fans per dual meet, marking the second straight year with at least 25 schools reaching the mark. There were 156 dual meets that drew more than 1,000 fans, 16 more than last season and 39 more than 2021-22. This is just 10 short of the record of 166 set prior to the pandemic.

The Numbers

RankSchoolAVGTOTALDates1K+BestTop Draw
1Iowa14,847.089,0826614,847Oregon St., Columbia, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin
2Penn State7,337.151,3607712,049Rutgers
3Iowa State6,691.740,1506614,276Iowa
4Oklahoma State5,871.052,8399913,721Iowa
5Oregon State5,240.510,481228,540Penn State
6NC State4,340.821,704555,500Oklahoma State, North Carolina,
Virginia Tech
7Michigan4,196.016,784446,522Penn State
8Ohio State4,072.428,507774,759Michigan
9Rutgers3,990.135,911995,769Ohio State
10Missouri3,393.720,362666,207Oklahoma State
12Northern Iowa3,103.512,414443,411Missouri
14Virginia Tech2,254.015,778775,107Ohio State
15Wisconsin2,176.313,058663,563Ohio State
18West Virginia1,579.79,478644,139Glenville State (Beauty & The Beast)
19Arizona State1,526.86,107441,727Nebraska
20South Dakota State1,474.58,847652,241North Dakota State
21Pittsburgh1,419.99,939742,510Oklahoma State
22Oklahoma1,380.06,900513,571Oklahoma State
23Virginia1,254.52,509212,112Virginia Tech
24Navy1,140.04,560422,546Army West Point
25Utah Valley1,123.84,495441,315Wyoming
27Lock Haven1,074.34,297431,357George Mason
28Cal Poly993.44,967521,287Rutgers/Duke Tri
30California Baptist958.35,750614,676Iowa
31Bellarmine853.04,265521,918Kentucky Wesleyan
33Wyoming779.24,67560957Oklahoma State
34Central Michigan748.63,743521,340Oklahoma
35Maryland748.54,491612,000Penn State
37Northern Colorado692.43,462511,402Wyoming
38Little Rock687.83,439511,027Arizona State
39Kent State652.02,608411,006Ohio
40Appalachian State610.73,664611,000NC State
41North Carolina591.04,13770813Navy
42Michigan State582.94,080711,010Penn State
44Franklin & Marshall541.71,625311,250Home Quad
46Bloomsburg406.31,62540475George Mason
47Campbell403.31,61340838Appalachian State
49Cleveland State382.01,52840632Ohio
50Hofstra375.41,87750808Ohio State
51North Dakota State373.32,24060557Nebraska
52Air Force335.52,01360546Northern Colorado
54Northern Illinois312.01,2487 (4)*0435Lindenwood/St. Ambrose
56Buffalo300.01,500500N/A (Estimated)
62Queens101.840740164Duke/The Citadel
63LIU95.338140122Sacred Heart

Asterisks & Caveats

Some schools ticketed for some events and not for others. Some schools provided numbers of counting fans despite not being ticketed, while others included only tickets sold and didn’t include free admission for students. Duals with numbers they were able to provide were included. Northern Illinois only reported home attendance data for four of its seven dates.


Tracking the attendance figures varies by school, with some schools opting to ticket for some events and not ticket for others, making the numbers an imperfect science. This data is for dual meet events only, not tournaments hosted by schools. In all, 63 schools reported figures for 2023-24, with 12 (Binghamton, Brown, Columbia, Davidson, George Mason, Harvard, Morgan State, Ohio, Sacred Heart, SIUE, Stanford and The Citadel) not ticketing or tracking home attendance for wrestling and six more not reporting (Army West Point, Clarion, CSU Bakersfield, Edinboro, Lindenwood, Presbyterian).


The National Wrestling Media Association assumed the role of collecting attendance figures in 2017. The late Denny Diehl of the Lehigh University Wrestling News began tracking attendance in 2002, with TheOpenMat.com’s Alex Steen handling compilation from 2015-2016.


A historical record of year-by-year figures can be found here: https://almanac.mattalkonline.com/college-wrestling-attendance/

A list of the all-time single college dual meets with over 10,000 fans can be found here: https://almanac.mattalkonline.com/college-wrestling-dual-meet-attendance-records/

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