If you flop it, they won’t come.

Bill Connelly writes that it’s not so much that college football has an attendance problem, as it is that certain college football programs have an attendance problem.

It is worth mentioning, however, that attendance isn’t falling everywhere. Comparing home attendance in 2018 to the averages from 2005 to 2017, 50 FBS teams were higher in the former than the latter, and 27 more fell by less than 2,000 fans per game. Things are tilting in the wrong direction, obviously, but at only a slight angle.

In reality, a handful of schools have driven the averages down for everybody.

1. Fallen blue-bloods. From 2005 to 2017, five schools — Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, UCLA and USC — averaged 82,902 per game in home attendance. In 2018, they averaged 70,472. Only one of these storied programs (Florida) reached bowl eligibility.

Well, now.  I’m sure they’ll get right on tha…

If Florida State, Tennessee, UCLA and USC were to all rebound to some degree in 2019, that might be all it takes for FBS’ overall attendance to improve over 2018 totals. Of course, those teams went 1-3 in Week 1, and the team that won lost its starting quarterback to injury. That’s not encouraging.

Er, when does basketball season start, anyway?


Filed under College Football

6 responses to “If you flop it, they won’t come.

  1. Chi-town Dawg

    I like reading Bill Connelly’s usually insightful material. However, this article reminds me of the saying “if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle”. His efforts at trying to explain away the downward attendance trends are extremely weak. Hopefully, this isn’t going to become the norm for him now that’s he’s working for the Man.


  2. Macallanlover

    Winning records are certainly a part of the issue, but that has always come and gone UHDTV as an available option for all games, the fan experience while attending, increasing restrictions/limitations on attendance and related issues, etc. are far bigger, imo. Then there is the “quality” of the home schedule.

    This “trend” isn’t going to change, and winning games will not not offset the overall decline, certainly not for all games. You can run these numbers in 20 years and they will reflect the same results.


    • GaskellDawg

      Mac, I believe you are correct. Fans such as me and ee and the Senator buy season tickets and go to games but we may not be physically able to go to games in 20 years. For years and years when the older season ticket holders died there were young fans wanting to take their seats. For the past decade the UGA AA has done nothing to generate among its young adult fans a culture of buying season tickets. When the younger fans had to fine ways to enjoy the game that did not include paying a shitload of money the younger fans found ways to enjoy the games that did not require tickets each Saturday.

      Unless TPTB find a way to convert those Section HD fans to Section 123 fans the schools may find it harder to sell tickets.


  3. If the dumpster fires of fsu and ut plus really bad coaching at ucla are supposed to save cfb attendance….then Mickey has once again diluted a once proficient observation of the cfb world as it is…cash those checks and come back to those who appreciate your observations and insight


  4. Uglydawg

    The day is approaching when a sports’ prognosticator asks another sports’
    prognosticator, “How do you feel about Tennessee’s prospects this year?” and everyone watching assumes that they’re discussing March madness.