Private Schools the Reason For Low Attendance At State Basketball Tournaments?

By Dave




Keeping an eye on attendance figures for this year’s OHSAA State Boys Basketball Championships.  Note that the first day of the tournaments is nine days earlier than it was last season.  Plus, the rotation of the schedule has DIII and DII playing on the first day.


This year’s opening day attendance is up from last year by 3,423.


2016 OHSAA Boys State Basketball Championships

Attendance - Thursday

3-17-16 at Value City Arena


Semifinal Games


·         8,433 - DIII - Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph vs Lynchburg-Clay

·         8,599 - DIII - Lima Central Catholic vs. St. Bernard Roger Bacon


·         7,998 - DII - Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs.  Cincinnati Aiken

·         11,152 - DII - New Concord John Glenn vs Bay Village Bay


Attendance - Friday

3-18-16 at Value City Arena


·         7,478 – DIV - Cornerstone Christian vs. Wellington School

·         10,173  DIV - Lincolnview vs. Jackson Center


·         15,292  DI – Lima Senior vs. Wilmington - ***

·         10,685  DI - Westerville South vs. Garfield Heights


*** - 15,292, highest attendance for a Div. I state tournament game since 2007


Attendance - Saturday

3-19-16 at Value City Arena


·         11,109  DIII Lima Central Catholic vs Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph

·         14,643  -  DII Akron SVSM vs. New Concord John Glenn

·          9,675  DIV – Cornerstone Christian vs. Lincolnview

·         13,457 – DI - Lima Senior v. Westerville South


Thursday 3-26-15 OHSAA Boys Basketball Attendance Figures




  • 7,984 - Wayne Trace vs. Harvest Prep
  • 8,832 - Tri-Village vs. Tuscarawas Central Catholic




  • 7,659 - Villa Angela-St. Joseph vs. Eastmoor Academy
  • 8,284 - Lima Central Catholic vs. Dayton Chaminade Julienne


OHSAA State Boys Basketball Tournament Thursday attendance over the past 6 years


  • 2011-42,000
  • 2012-41,748
  • 2013-42,112
  • 2014-36,172
  • 2015-32,759
  • 2016-36,182


Material below added to this story after publication and completed by Stateline Sports Network


Friday 3-27-15 OHSAA Boys Basketball Attendance Figures



  • 8,732 - Cleveland Central Catholic vs. Columbus Walnut Ridge
  • 10,629 - Defiance vs. Dayton Dunbar



  • 9,877 - Garfield Heights vs. Westerville South
  • 9,294 - Lakewood St. Edward vs. Huber Heights Wayne


Friday Total (4 games)

  • 2016-43,628
  • 2015-38,532
  • 2014-43,173


2014 Saturday State Finals


  • D1- 14,234 - Lakewood St. Edward vs Upper Arlington
  • D2- 14,642 - Norwalk vs Columbus Bishop Watterson
  • D3-  9,908 - Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph vs Lima Central Catholic
  • D4- 11,556 - Convoy Crestview vs Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas


2015 Saturday State Finals


  • D1- 10,664 - Huber Heights Wayne vs. Westerville South
  • D2-  9,914 - Defiance vs. Cleveland Central Catholic
  • D3- 10,407 - Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph vs Lima Central Catholic
  • D4-  9,794 - New Madison Tri-Village vs Canal Winchester Harvest Prep


Saturday Championship Games Attendance


  • 2014 - Saturday Night Total - 50,340
  • 2015 - Saturday Night Total - 40,779
  • 2016 –Saturday Night Total – 48,884


The figures speak for themselves for the lower attendance figures since 2011, but is this the main cause, Private Schools?


According to the OHSAA web site:


All-Time State Tournament Attendance Records

State Semifinals & Finals, All Divisions Combined


  • 2003, Value City Arena,  Columbus—198,686
  • 2002, Value City Arena,  Columbus—180,873
  • 2004, Value City Arena,  Columbus—177,955
  • 2001, Value City Arena,  Columbus—177,660
  • 2007, Value City Arena,  Columbus—175,413


  • *. 2014, Value City Arena,  Columbus—129,122
  • *. 2015, Value City Arena,  Columbus—112,070
  • 2016, Value City Arena, Columbus – 128,694


Single Game, Semifinal or Final


  • 2003, Value City Arena, —18,541
  • (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Kettering Archbishop Alter)
  • 2003, Value City Arena, —18,504
  • (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Canton South)
  • 2002, Value City Arena, —18,375
  • (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. St. Bernard Roger Bacon)
  • 2002, Value City Arena,  Columbus—18,371
  • (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Poland Seminary)
  • 2005, Value City Arena,  Columbus—18,229
  • (Upper Sandusky vs. Wooster Triway)



UPDATED - 3-29-15

From this Columbus Dispatch story: Declining attendance at state tournament troubles OHSAA

(Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Dan) Ross noted that small towns usually bring more people than city or private schools, and this year’s event wasn’t kind that way. When reminded that big-screen televisions probably haven’t helped much either, Ross nodded, looked down and mimicked texting.

“A whole lot of it is societal and cultural,” he said.



Editor’s Note: (Story below is from 2015) After contacting the NW Ohio Athletic Conference Commissioner below about the Tweets on this issue, he replied with a "No Comment" and now we are blocked from viewing his Twitter account. Also note; that all related Tweets on this subject were deleted as well from his account.


(3-26-15) An Ohio High School Athletic Conference Commissioner has some concerns about the Boys basketball tournament attendance on Thursday.


UPDATED: 3-28-15

We have placed the conversation that took place on Twitter, thanks to our confirmations we found from Twitter sent to our email. Three Twitter accounts are involved. Two will not be listed using their actual handles.




@XXXXXXXX - A HS Athletic Conference Commissioner

@3rd party - Person who was involved in conversation



Top line Twitter handle is who tweeted the comment


This tweet appeared yesterday after attendance figures started to come in from the D IV contests on Thursday.




"Attendance at the OHSAA Boys State Tournament will suffer

this weekend due to 8 private schools and weather."




@XXXXXXXX not a big fan of privates?




@StateSportsNet Didn't say that. They just don't have

the community support that public schools tend to have.




@XXXXXXXX saw the attendance figures, I know one state

who would take the #'s I saw today...not bad for a Thurs

starting at 1045am




@StateSportsNet Numbers are not good compared to historical

averages. 10k seems to be the benchmark.



@3rd party

@StateSportsNet @XXXXXXXX bad matchups or not big

followings for those schools?




@3rd party @StateSportsNet One private in each game,

no real community support for them. Makes a huge difference.

Keep an eye on DIII.




@@XXXXXXXX @3rd party so (your private school) doesn't travel

well in the (league)?




@StateSportsNet @3rd party They sure do, not the same.

(our private school) would travel well to state. Larger

cities with privates don't support.




@XXXXXXXX we are working on a story based on your comments

about this issue - you can email me at




@StateSportsNet No comment!


Related story from the Columbus Dispatch

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