It looked like the prime schedule to pack fans into Carver-Hawkeye Arena at a record rate, but Iowa had to overcome a blizzard, an ice storm and other less-than-ideal circumstances this year to break its own national wrestling attendance mark.
The Hawkeyes led the country in dual attendance for the eighth straight season and set a national record by averaging 8,835 for seven duals against Division-I opponents, according to a report released by Roby Publishing. Iowa became the first program in NCAA history to draw more than 10,000 in three home duals when the Hawkeyes pulled in 13,747 against Penn State, 10,588 against Minnesota and 10,141 against Oklahoma State.
Iowa wrestled Penn State during a December blizzard, ice covered roads around Iowa in January on the night the Hawkeyes wrestled Oklahoma State and a Saturday afternoon starting time against Minnesota butted heads with high school tournaments around the state.
The Roby report, which includes only single dual meets against Division-I opponents, showed 13 of the top 16 schools improved their year-over-year average attendance.
Penn State, which pulled in an NCAA dual record crowd of 15,996 against Pittsburgh, averaged 7,646 for its eight home duals.
Iowa State (3,255) and Northern Iowa (1,766) finished fourth and ninth, respectively.