Don’t bury bowls, ’cause they’re not dead yet.

Put this in your playoff expansion pipe and smoke it.

The average attendance at bowl games rose by more than three percent in 2018-19, snapping a streak of seven consecutive seasons in which the industry saw an overall decline.

The average attendance for bowl games this season was 41,802. That’s up from last season’s average of 40,508 according to NCAA attendance figures.

I have no idea why.  It comes in the face of declines in 20 of 38 games, including nine of which were by double-digit percentages.  (Though some of that is no doubt attributable to the CFP’s curious insistence on dodging New Year’s Day, and, as the article notes, playing the title game in Northern California instead of Atlanta.)

In any event, don’t be surprised when people questioning the need for an expanded playoff cite this as a data point in expressing concern over how a larger playoff field would impact the bowls.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

6 responses to “Don’t bury bowls, ’cause they’re not dead yet.

  1. Russ

    I suspect Kentucky accounted for half that increase. When was the last time they were in a New Year’s bowl?


  2. I haven’t compared the games to see if more over them were competitive but I would imagine the overall economy being better has something to do with the game attendance.


  3. BK

    I don’t normally respond, but if they would lower the prices, they would obviously have a much higher take rate. We usually go to the belk bowl if we are in town, but when they want to charge 80/ticket for two teams I really don’t care about, it is hard to justify. I would gladly pay 80-100 for both of us to go, but not one. Especially when it is the belk bowl. It’s the same for the season opener they usually play at Charlotte. Just give us more reasonable prices, even if you don’t make quite as much money. I’m sure you will make up for it on the back-end with concessions at 10/beer.


  4. CB

    I’m gonna go ahead and guess that dirt cheap ticket prices were a contributing factor. Donors seem to be less and less interested in attending bowls and will take $20 a ticket if that’s all they can get. Maybe… idk


  5. 30904Dawg

    The article is misleading and offers incomplete data. With the First Responder Bowl not being played, it should not have been figured into the average attendance for 2017. If you look at the average bowl attendance for the bowls that were played BOTH seasons, you get a negligible increase from 41,021 (2017) to 41,093 (2018). Assuming that the First Responders Bowl had actually occurred and had the same attendance as last year, the figures are 40,508 (2017) and 40,578 (2018).