College Football Attendance: By The Numbers

The NCAA has posted the announced attendance numbers from the college football regular season. Here are some interesting facts.

Big Ten 1, 2, 3: Michigan (111,825), Ohio State (105,278) and Penn State (104,234) led the nation in average attendance per game.

Rough seasons didn’t hurt crowds: The Texas Longhorns had their first losing year in 13 seasons, but that didn’t stop fans from coming to the game. The Longhorns averaged a sellout of 100,657 fans per game, good for fifth in the country. Georgia, which also finished up the season with a losing record, averaged a sellout as well, averaging 92,746 fans per game. Florida, in Urban Meyer’s last season, finished the season 8-5 and unranked but sold out and averaged 90,511 fans per game.

College Tailgate Party
College Tailgate Party

Sellout Crowds: Eighteen schools sold out their seasons: Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Oregon, Texas Tech, Louisville, Utah, Cincinnati and Boise State.

Small Stadium: Oregon left a lot of money on the table from their magical run. They more than sold out their season, but that only meant 59,398 fans per game. Boise State also sold out its seasons but only drew 33,269 fans per game due to the capacity of their stadium. TCU, which finished the year perfect after beating Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, sold 95 percent of its possible tickets, but only averaged 42,466 per game.

Empty Seats In The Pac-10: Three Pac-10 programs played to stadiums that had at least 30 percent of its seats empty. Those programs include Arizona State (65.1%), Washington State (65.3%) and UCLA (66.3%)

Who’s Going To Temple?: Al Golden went to Miami after his great 8-4 season at Temple. Hopefully winning at Miami will help sell tickets, because that didn’t happen at Temple. Temple home games averaged 20,515 fans per game or 29.9% of capacity, the emptiest stadium on a percentage basis in the FBS.

Surprises: Schools that surprised me included Minnesota, which had an awful season but is in the second year of its spanking new stadium. The Golden Gophers sold 99 percent of tickets available this year. Louisville was also a hot ticket despite not being the top contender they once were. NCAA data reflected that the school sold 20 percent more tickets per game than capacity. On the flip side, Stanford had trouble getting a big crowd despite their magical run. The school averaged 40,042 fans per game.

Not MAC Daddy: The MAC had tremendous trouble getting fans to the game. Seven of the bottom 10 teams in attendance were from the MAC and none of those teams (Eastern Michigan, Miami University, Western Michigan, Buffalo, Akron and Ball State) drew more than 16,000 fans per game. Ball State had the worst attendance among FBS schools at 8,947 fans per game.

Questions? Comments?