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.