The state-of-the-art 14,750-seat Pepsi Arena in downtown Albany has served as the Saints home court the past nine seasons. Over that time, Siena's attendance has soared to new heights, bringing national acclaim to the "mid-major program that competes in a major basketball setting." The Pepsi Arena has helped Siena basketball grow into the premier sports entity in New York's Capital Region. With close to 1- million people to draw from, the Albany area has developed a national reputation as a booming college basketball town, and Siena has led the way.
This past year, Siena drew its 1-millionith fan and played in its 150th game all-time at the Arena.
In March of 2003, the NCAA East Regionals were contested at the Pepsi Arena with Siena College serving as a co-host. In 2008 and 2010, the MAAC Tournament will return to Albany, where it has enjoyed record attendances.
It is the support that the Siena program has received that has made these national events a reality. In November of 2004 a sold-out crowd of 14,743 turned out for Siena's game against national power Syracuse at Pepsi Arena. That crowd, the largest ever to witness a Siena regular-season home game, helped catapult the Saints to 83rd nationally in Division I attendance, with an average of 6,440 fans at each home game.
In 2002-2003, new records were established as over 125,000 fans turned out for the Saints' 17 home dates and average of better than 7,300 per game. That total placed 66th among all Division I schools and fourth nationally for mid-major programs. Siena also boasted the largest attendance figure in the nation per enrollment, ranking as only one of two school's in the top-100 with fewer than 3,000 students.
After drawing over 4,000 fans only once during the 1996-97 season (against 25th-ranked Rhode Island), Siena has been ranked among the top-100 nationally in attendance during each of the last six seasons. And the numbers continue to rise.
During the 1997-98 season, when Siena went 17-12 and advanced to the finals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament, an average of 4,699 fans saw the Saints play at the Pepsi Arena. That season, Siena surpassed the 5,000 mark four times and the 6,000 mark once, against Loyola, when 6,031 fans attended the game. Overall, 61,092 fans came through the turnstiles during the 1997-98 season, including a season-high 7,711 fans against Manhattan.
During the 1998-99 campaign, Siena posted a 25-6 record, won the MAAC Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, an average of 6,332 fans per game watched Siena play. That figure ranked 84th nationally.
In 1999-2000, a record 96,233 fans came through the turnstiles for the Saints' 15 home dates, an average of 6,416 per contest. Siena posted a 14-1 record in those games, and advanced to National Invitation Tournament, where it was awarded a home game versus the University of Massachusetts. Siena defeated UMass in front of 9,649 spectators. During Siena's 13 home games in 2000-2001, 82,320 fans watched Siena post a 20-win season. Highlighted among the games that year was a crowd of 11,374, the biggest since the 1991 season, when Siena beat rival Marist, 84-78. In 2001-2002, the crowds again came out in droves as an average of over 6,500 fans attended each home game to watch the Saints--the 80th best total in the nation. In the regular-season opener against Albany, 10,285 spectators passed through the turnstiles.
In 2004-2005, that total was again topped with over 86,905 spectators turning out for Siena's 13 games. The average of 6,685 placed 81st nationally.
The Saints are an impressive 77-32 at the Pepsi Arena (includes MAAC Tournament) the last seven seasons.
Siena's Crowds of 10,000 or more at Pepsi Arena
* National Invitation Tournament
% MAAC Tournament
YEAR-BY-YEAR SIENA BASKETBALL PEPSI ARENA ATTENDANCE
* Includes three regular-season games and three NIT games
# Includes four regular-season games and two NIT games
^ Includes one NIT game and 13 regular-season games
$ Includes three NIT games and 14 regular-season games
Note: MAAC Tournament games are neutral site games and are not included in Siena's Pepsi Attendance.
Pepsi (Knickerbocker) Arena Records
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