Fan-Tastic

FAYETTEVILLE — In case anyone didn't already know, Baum Stadium is officially the place to be when it comes to college baseball. With the 2007 regular season officially complete, the latest attendance figures have been calculated. And to no one's surprise, Arkansas hit a homer when it comes to home attendance.



In 29 home games this season, Arkansas sold 233,350 tickets. At an average of 8,047 tickets sold per game, the Razorbacks become the first team in NCAA history to finish over the 8,000-per game mark.

"The fan support of Razorback baseball at Baum Stadium is incredible," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, in a university release Monday. "It is truly a special place to play and our fans have so much to do with it."

Since moving into Baum Stadium in 1996, Arkansas has consistently finished among the leaders in attendance. But after falling behind LSU for several years at the top of conference in tickets sold per game, Arkansas has finally soared to the top.

While LSU still led the league this year with 256,537 tickets sold compared to Arkansas' 233,350, the Tigers played six more home games than the Razorbacks to finish with an average of 7,329.

"It's just been a pattern of continual growth within the program," Arkansas Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Licensing Matt Shanklin said. "It's a credit to our fans, it's a credit to the facility and it's a credit to (coach Van Horn) and his teams."

Baum Stadium also saw several single-game attendance records come crashing down during the season. Before 2007, Arkansas had drawn more than 10,000 fans to a game only once when the Razorbacks hosted Florida State in the 2004 NCAA Super Regional and drew 10,027. This year, though, Arkansas twice beat that number, drawing 10,147 fans on May 4 against LSU and then 10,581 against the Tigers the very next day.

And those numbers were for actual fans in the seats. When adding in total sales, Arkansas dominated the conference by having eight of the top nine games in 2007, including three games where more than 10,000 tickets were sold.

Only Mississippi State and Kentucky's March 31 game in Starkville, where 10,324 tickets were purchased, prevented Baum Stadium from completely taking over the SEC's top attendance list.

"You've pretty much gotten yourself to a point where it's going to be hard to take that number much higher," Shanklin said. "Now, you're completely contingent upon weather. But if you go back and look at an actual attendance standpoint, basically we had just 10,000 for the Mississippi State series when it got down to 18 degrees twice and then around 14,000 total for the Florida series when it got very cold.

"If you had good weather in those series, you could add in 30,000 more in actual attendance."

While Arkansas reaped the benefits of Baum Stadium's third major renovation since 2003 — which included the addition of 20 new luxury boxes and 1,504 new chairback seats — the SEC as a whole continued to draw bigger crowds as well. After managing nearly 1.5 million in ticket sales in 2006, the conference teams combined to sell a record 1,575,873 tickets this season.

This now marks the sixth consecutive season where the SEC has gone over the 1 million mark in tickets sold.

No other conference in the country has gone over the 1 million mark even once.

"We are pleased at the continuing popularity of baseball in our league," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, in a conference release Monday. "The SEC has always been the leader in collegiate baseball and the loyal support of our great fans helps ensure this popularity continues."



On Deck

2007 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament

WHO: No. 15 Arkansas vs. Alabama

WHEN: 10 a.m., Wednesday

WHERE: Regions Park, Hoover, Ala.

RECORDS: Arkansas 38-18, 18-12; Alabama 31-24, 15-15



National Record

Arkansas sold an average of 8,047 tickets per game to Baum Stadium during the 2007 regular season, becoming the first school in NCAA history to go over the 8,000-per game mark. Actual attendance during the 2007 was 165,298, also a school record. That's an average of 5,700. Here's how the rest of the SEC looked behind the Razorbacks:

Team Home games Total paid attendance Average

Arkansas 29 233,350 8,047

LSU 35 256,537 7,329

Mississippi State 30 191,103 6,370

South Carolina 29 145,667 5,023

Ole Miss 32 153,069 4,783

Alabama 35 156,379 4,467

Florida 33 106,956 3,241

Auburn 35 89,732 2,563

Kentucky 34 70,001 2,058

Vanderbilt 32 59,720 1,866

Georgia 35 61,491 1,756

Tennessee 35 60,438 1,726

TOTALS 393 1,575,873 4,010



Total Dominance

Of the top 10 Southeastern Conference baseball crowds in 2007 — in terms in paid attendance — Arkansas' Baum Stadium was on the list eight times.

DATE GAME ATT.

May 5 LSU at Arkansas 10,727

May 4 LSU at Arkansas 10,399

March 31 Kentucky at Mississippi State 10,324

May 18 Ole Miss at Arkansas 10,031

May 19 Ole Miss at Arkansas 9,733

May 6 LSU at Arkansas 9,438

March 24 Vanderbilt at Arkansas 9,326

March 23 Vanderbilt at Arkansas 9,216

May 17 Ole Miss at Arkansas 8,657

Feb. 27 Tulane at LSU 8,577

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