Madison Duello hits, Badgers volleyball

Badgers' Madison Duello hits against Gophers' Molly Lohman, left, and Jasmyn Martin in an Oct. 4 game at the UW Field House. The announced attendance was a sellout of 6,012 but the number of tickets used was 3,863.

A ticket into a University of Wisconsin volleyball home match became a tougher item to secure in 2017.

Once a spectator was inside the UW Field House, however, seats were easier to find this season.

Ticket usage fell 15 percent in 2017 when compared to the all-time high of the previous year.

While announced attendance — the number of tickets sold or distributed — climbed to an all-time program high average of 5,980 this season, the average number of tickets used was 3,816.

The 64 percent usage rate was down from 76 percent in 2016, when the average number of fans in the Field House bleachers was 4,499.

The figures come from the number of tickets counted by digital scanners at entrance gates, something UW has been tracking for volleyball for the last 11 seasons.

Despite the year-over-year dropoff, the 3,816 average for the number of fans actually in the Field House was the second-highest in those 11 seasons.

A higher number of season tickets sold may have been to blame for some of the decrease in usage.

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The Badgers sold a record 4,885 season tickets this season, an increase of 1,445 over 2016.

Attendance at the Field House was capped at 6,012 because the balcony was closed and to allow for general admission seating.

"That was an issue, how hard the ticket was," Badgers coach Kelly Sheffield said. "People may not be able to come to all the matches but they wanted to come to quite a few of them. So they bought season tickets and came to quite a few of them. Maybe there's not quite as many butts in seats as there could be."

The HotelRED Invitational gave the Badgers their smallest and largest crowds of the 2017 season.

The Sept. 7 game against Lipscomb — the only one of the season to fall short of an announced sellout — had 2,888 tickets used. Two nights later, 4,577 tickets were scanned for a game against Texas A&M.

In 2016, the Badgers had nine crowds larger than the highest total reached in 2017.


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