Being there

Well, this isn’t good.

Major college football home attendance in 2014 dipped to its lowest average in 14 years as many schools continue to struggle to fill seats.

Football Bowl Subdivision crowds for home games averaged 43,483 fans per game, down 4 percent from 2013 and the lowest since 42,631 in 2000, according to a CBSSports.com analysis of NCAA attendance data. This marked the sixth straight season crowds were below 46,000 since they peaked at 46,456 in 2008.

The data is spread out, as you might expect.

The good news: 72 percent of the top 25 attendance leaders experienced increases or remained the same (all of the top 25 were from Power Five conferences or Notre Dame). The bad news: Only 48 percent of the remaining Power Five schools maintained or increased their crowd average, and many schools in smaller conferences continued to decline.

There are all kinds of issues you can point to for the decline – obviously the home team sucking counts big time in places like Florida, Michigan and Texas – but longer term, it’s some of the fallout you have to expect as college football migrates from being a regional sport to a national one.

Oh, one other bright spot deserves mentioning.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham… had the second-largest FBS increase in 2014. The Blazers averaged 21,841 fans per game, better than 36 other FBS programs and up 107 percent from last year.

Way to go, UAB!  Oh, wait…

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21 Comments

Filed under College Football

21 responses to “Being there

  1. SCDawg

    Wireless internet and louder piped in music will fix it.

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    • Bright Idea

      Folks staying home to hear the GameDay crew and game announcers tell us about the 4 team playoff and who will be NC. That and not the home team is what is all about isn’t it?

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  2. Russ

    Not a surprise, but still sad to see the killing of my favorite sport.

    Oh, and someday I’d like to read the true story of how football was shutdown at UAB.

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  3. IF only students would attend the games!
    “The only way we can generate additional revenue is through the SEC, is through our donors, but when you’re selling all your season tickets, we don’t have extra tickets to sell,” McGarity said.” Well why not take student tickets away from them and sell them for more money? Or students that graduate and come back to work on that Double G put them at the end of the line?
    Georgia, like other SEC schools, is trying to lure more fans to stadiums instead of staying home and watching games on their sofas.
    This will fix that…
    Talk of increasing ticket prices could be coming, McGarity said. Got to pay for that IPF and increase our bottom line…errr I mean lure more fans to stadiums.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      Whether it was dumb luck, cost consciousness or some other reason, I’m actually very glad we never closed the semi-open end zone or added more upper level seats to the stadium. The view is beautiful with the open horseshoe and just think how hard it would be to sell those puppies. Just a few years ago when contribution requirements were so high for entry level tickets and stadium expansion was all the rage, it would’ve been easy follow the sheep. That’s a sizable cost we avoided on the balance sheet for many years to come just as the trends are working against many programs who invested in stadium expansions (or had huge stadiums to fill).

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  4. Smitty

    Speaking for myself: 1) they don’t sell beer at the game, c’mon, I’m an adult now….

    2) I’ve made my TV room very comfortable

    3) Trash talking between fan bases is ridiculous, not teasing mind you, confrontational trash talking. Grow up we are all here for a good time.

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  5. Can you spell UHD-TV?

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    • Unless you have an 84-inch TV or sit very close you ain’t gonna notice sir. I don’t think people will sit closer than 8-10 feet. 60 inch tv’s are about the limit for the size of an average living room. TVs with higher resolution than 1080p was inevitable, but at typical TV sizes, quadruple the pixels makes no difference in picture quality and are not worth the extra price. TV companies are pushing 4K because they can. It’s easy, or at least easier than improving the more important aspects of picture quality (like contrast ratio, color accuracy, motion blur, compression artifacts, and so on ).

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  6. Normaltown Mike

    In Re Being There

    I like to watch.

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  7. DawgPhan

    UGA’s attendance being flat about sums it all up.

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  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU. THE MUSIC’S TOO LOUD.

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  9. Debby Balcer

    The atmosphere in the stadium can’t be matched at home. The music is too loud. When you can’t talk to the person next to you without yelling it is a problem. This is true even before the game during the warm up. The students don’t seem to be enjoying it either so they failed on that front.

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  10. Slaw Dawg

    It’s been hashed a zillion times, but fewer compelling games + longer breaks for TV and seemingly interminable play reviews (which time I can use at home to replay) + parking issues + that damn loud music and jumbotron commercials + poor concessions = me attending less, for sure. The flip side: fan support and energy has been tremendous for certain (esp. later day) games in recent years, even with the hiccups.

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  11. 69Dawg

    Following the theme for the first time in history I believe the UGAAA will give you credit to your Cumulative BH Fund for the price of the Belk Bowl tickets. Now that is drastic. We must be way behind in ticket sells to this made for ESPN TV bowl.

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