Attendance and television viewership numbers from the 2012 Men’s Final Four (and tournament) include:
73,361 fans attended the Final Four session on Saturday, March 31 – the second-highest attended session in NCAA tournament history;
70,913 fans attended the National Championship Game on Monday, April 2 – the third-highest title game attendance;
144,274 fans attended the Final Four in total – the third-highest total attendance for the Final Four;
1,566 media members were credentialed for the Final Four – the most in the history of the event;
200 countries across the globe received live broadcasts of the games – a new record;
The semifinal games on Saturday, March 31, averaged a 9.0 Nielsen rating on CBS – the highest rated Final Four since 2005;
The championship game on Monday, April 2, delivered a 12.3 Nielsen rating on CBS – the second-highest rated championship game in seven years.
Total tickets sold for the second- and third-round games (403,427) and the regional semifinals and finals (168,096) jumped nine percent from the previous year.
The ancillary events surrounding the Final Four also drew large crowds through the week:
More than 43,000 fans and community members attended Bracket TownTM Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero, held from March 30-April 2 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center;
Approximately 130,000 fans attended The Big DanceTM Concert Series at Woldenberg Park on March 30-April 1. March 30 was headlined by KISS; March 31 featured The Black Keys; and April 1 starred Jimmy Buffett;
More than 11,300 fans attended the Final Four teams’ open practices and the Reese’s College All-Star Game as part of Final Four Friday® at Mercedes-Benz Superdome;
Months in advance of the championship, the NCAA works with local schools, nonprofits and foundations to create opportunities of support throughout the local community. Legacy initiatives the NCAA supported in New Orleans included:
2,012 pairs of shoes and 2,012 boxes of food were distributed at four locations throughout the city. The shoes were provided by the NCAA, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Samaritan’s Feet. The meals were provided by the NCAA and Feed the Hungry;
The NCAA and Tulane University teamed up to complete four community projects in four days, including:
A new playground fence was installed at the Mary Bethune Elementary School;
New basketball equipment was donated to the Dryades YMCA;
A basketball court was refurbished at the Westbank YMCA gymnasium in Algiers, which was made possible through the partnership of the NCAA and the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation;
Middle school students planted 64 blackberry bushes and an infrastructure for a new fruit orchard for Grow Dat Youth Farm in the City Park.
More than 8,000 middle school students from New Orleans participated in the NCAA Middle School Madness program – a link between classroom learning and the men’s basketball championship that enhances student awareness of the opportunities available through athletics, provides inspiration through student-athlete role models and allows middle school students to participate in the excitement surrounding the 2012 Final Four;
Approximately 15,000 middle school students within the New Orleans School System were encouraged to read books outside of the classroom and obtain awards through reading as part of the Ticket to Reading program from the NCAA and the NABC.
Publish date: May 10, 2012
Success of 2012 men's basketball paves way for 75th celebration
All three divisions to play championship games in Atlanta in 2013
The successes of the 2012 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship have set the stage for the NCAA to celebrate 75 years of March Madness next season.
Near-record numbers of fans flocked to the games and associated events during the overall tournament in March and the 2012 Men’s Final Four in New Orleans March 31 and April 2. Viewership was strong as well, as all 67 tournament games were broadcast live by Turner and CBS for the second year.
David Worlock NCAA Associate Director of Championships and Alliances firstname.lastname@example.org 317/917-6120
Jeff Hathaway, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, cited the expanded 68-team tournament field, strong parity in competition and the NCAA’s partnership with Turner and CBS as keys to this year’s accomplishments.
“The 2012 tournament was a resounding success for our teams, our schools, our student-athletes and basketball fans,” Hathaway said as the men’s basketball committee began its spring meeting today (May 10) and Friday in Indianapolis. “As a committee, we look forward to next season and the 2013 tournament to celebrate the rich history of 75 years of men’s college basketball and the thousands of student-athletes who have benefited from their academics and athletics experience.”
Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances, said the Association is planning a series of events and initiatives during the upcoming basketball season to celebrate the 75th season of March Madness. The events will culminate at the 2013 Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.
Lewis emphasized that the celebration will honor historic moments on and off the court and those individuals who contributed to those successes in competition, in classrooms and in communities across the country.
Men’s basketball attendance still strong
Men’s basketball attendance for all three NCAA divisions in 2011-12 totaled 32,781,399 fans, which represents a slight increase from the previous year and ranks fifth all-time. The record is 33,396,316 from the 2008 season. Read More
“We will pay tribute to the special moments and history of the tournament, and we will celebrate coaches and teachers as well as the community service contributions made by student-athletes and universities across the country,” Lewis said. “This is a chance for us to highlight the entire collegiate athletics experience through the platform of men’s basketball.”
As part of the 75th celebration, Lewis announced that all three NCAA divisions will play their 2013 tournament championship games in Atlanta.
The Divisions II and III championship games will join the Big Dance and be played on Sunday, April 7, between the Division I men’s semifinals on Saturday, April 6, and the Division I men’s championship on Monday, April 8.
Philips Arena is the tentative site of the Division II and III championships and exact times will be announced at a later time. The Division I semifinals and championship will be played at the Georgia Dome.
The Division II championship will be broadcast live on CBS, as it has in past seasons, and the Division III championship will air live on the CBS Sports Network.
“This is a first in the history of NCAA basketball, and our membership is energized to play all three men’s championships games in the same city during the same weekend as a unique and special way to celebrate 75 years of March Madness,” Lewis said.