Girls Events Set Attendance Record

September 17, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Michigan High School Athletic Association girls postseason events enjoyed record attendance for the second straight school year in 2014-15 as nearly 1.4 million fans total took in tournament events for which attendance is recorded.

Total attendance for 2014-15 was 1,389,209 fans, with 926,099 at boys tournaments and 463,110 spectators at girls events. Attendance is kept for all sports except golf, skiing and tennis, for which admission typically is not charged.

That total was down 31,518 fans, or 2.2 percent, from 2013-14. But that decrease was due mostly to a 20 percent drop in football attendance stemming from an uncharacteristically cold and snowy weekend for Pre-District games, and despite a slight uptick in MHSAA Finals attendance (53,494) in the sport for the second straight season to its highest total since 2011.

Attendance for Pre-District football games was down 45,663 fans (33 percent) from the same round of the 2013 Playoffs – although that one-weekend deficit was made up partially by an increase of 28,550 fans (6.6 percent) at girls events over the previous school year. 

Two girls sports – competitive cheer and volleyball – plus the combined girls and boys bowling tournament set attendance records during 2014-15. Volleyball set a an overall attendance record for the second straight season, with 110,931 fans, and also set records at the MHSAA District and Regional levels. Cheer set records at the District and Finals levels and overall with 31,284 fans for the tournament – an increase of 20 percent over the 2013-14 season. Bowling set an overall attendance record for the fourth straight season, this time with 13,298 fans.

A number of other sports continued promising trends. The Baseball and Softball Finals, which showed a 29-percent increase from the previous year after moving to Michigan State University in 2014, experienced another boost this spring. The Girls Soccer Finals also moved to MSU, which attracted more fans total to the site that weekend; however, the combined attendance for Baseball, Softball and Girls Soccer Finals (16,310 fans) this spring was 29 percent higher than the 2014 combined total when girls soccer championship games were played at two other sites.

Baseball and Softball Regionals experienced their highest turnouts since the 1995 season, with baseball setting a record for that round with 12,297 fans. Girls Soccer Regionals also set a record with 11,228 in attendance. All three sports saw overall postseason attendance increases from the spring 2014 to 2015 seasons.

Both girls and boys basketball also enjoyed postseason attendance increases for the 2014-15 season; girls basketball had its most fans (171,665) since 2005-06, while the boys (320,908) welcomed the most since 2011-12. Boys soccer postseason games attracted 34,795 fans, up 20 percent from 2013 and the most since the 2008 season, and wrestling experienced upticks at both championship levels – the Team Finals attendance of 29,564 was the highest since 2011, and the Individual Finals total of 49,215 was that event’s highest since 2012. Boys swimming and diving and the combined track and field tournaments also enjoyed increased tournament attendance from the previous school year.


94 Schools Raise Trophies as Part of 2023-24 MHSAA Parade of Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 19, 2024

A total of 94 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during the 2023-24 school sports year, with three teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.

Southfield Arts & Technology celebrated its first MHSAA Finals team championship during the fall, winning the 11-player Division 1 football title. Evart and Watervliet closed this spring by celebrating their first Finals victories, Evart as champion in Division 3 softball and Watervliet as champion in Division 4 baseball.

A total of 25 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by Marquette’s six won in girls and boys cross country, girls and boys swimming & diving, boys golf and boys track & field. Detroit Catholic Central was next with four Finals championships, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Jackson Lumen Christi all won three. Winning two titles in 2023-24 were Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bark River-Harris, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Kearsley, Fowler, Grand Rapids Christian, Hancock, Hudson, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Northville, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Rochester Adams, Traverse City Christian and Traverse City St. Francis.

A total of 25 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 47 champions were repeat winners from 2022-23. A total of 22 teams won championships for at least the third-straight season, while 11 teams extended title streaks to at least four consecutive seasons. The Lowell wrestling program owns the longest title streak at 11 seasons. 

Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 team championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine title winners in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.

For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2023-24, click here (PDF).

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.