<div id="Content" readability="100.04237037"> Feb. 21, 2011


Fans of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team came out in full force this year, making tickets to see head coach Cael Sanderson's squad compete in Rec Hall a hot commodity. The Nittany Lions averaged nearly 5,500 fans per home dual, by far the best average attendance at Penn State in two decades or more.

Two of Penn State's duals sold out, with the Iowa dual on Jan. 30 selling out standing room only tickets as well. 6,686 fans packed Rec Hall for the match-up with the Hawkeyes, the largest Rec Hall sporting event crowd since enhanced fire codes capped attendance at the building in the mid-1990s. The Wisconsin dual on Feb. 18 also sold out all available seats with a solid portion of SRO tickets being sold as well. 6,311 fans watched Penn State down the Badgers 30-12 on Senior Night.

Six of Penn State's seven home duals, including Iowa and Wisconsin, topped the 5,000 fan mark, including 5,527 for Penn State's win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 21. The Nittany Lions drew a total of 38,182 fans to Rec Hall for seven duals, giving Penn State a gaudy 5,455 per dual average. Final national average totals will be released in March with Penn State almost a cinch to finish second nationally, which would be the highest national finish for Penn State in decades.

Below are this year's attendance figures:
11/14 -- LEHIGH -- 5,257
12/12 -- LOCK HAVEN -- 4,182
12/19 -- OHIO STATE -- 5,102
1/21 -- PITTSBURGH -- 5,527
1/30 -- IOWA -- 6,686
2/11 -- ILLINOIS -- 5,117
2/18 -- WISCONSIN -- 6,311
TOTAL -- 38,182
AVG(7)-- 5,455

Last year in Sanderson's first season as head coach at Penn State, the Nittany Lions averaged 4,341 fans per home dual with the highest figure a 4,883 crowd against Illinois. The figure was about 1,700 more per dual than the prior year. This year's average added over 1,000 fans per dual. In just two seasons with Sanderson at the helm, Penn State has essentially doubled its average attendance from 2,789 in 2008-09 to 5,455 this year.

With tickets becoming increasingly hard to find, fans are encouraged to secure season tickets for the 2011-12 season early. Fans can make deposits on new season tickets by calling Joel Diamond 814-867-2557. Current season ticket holders will receive their renewal applications later in the summer. Current season ticket holders can add additional season tickets on their renewal forms. All new season tickets will be sold based on availability.

Head coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lions, which closed out a 17-1-1 dual meet season (6-1-1 Big Ten) on Friday with a 30-12 win over Wisconsin, will now prep for the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 5-6 at Northwestern University. The two-day event is the national qualifier for the conference and begins with an 11 a.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Central) session on Saturday, March 5. The Sunday session starts at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central) with the finals airing live on the Big Ten Network at 4 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Central). The 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC

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