Michigan’s 16-Year Run As Most Attended College Football Game IS OVER — Who’s The New #1?
According to CBSSports.com, who poured over hundreds of numbers so we didn’t have to, college football attendance numbers were down in 2014. The numbers are the lowest in 14 years.
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 counts only home games and not neutral-site venues. Figures represent the announced crowd totals schools reported to the NCAA and not necessarily actual attendance.
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.
For the last 16 years, Michigan has been the top school in attendance numbers. This year, Ohio State averaged 106,296 fans and Michigan dropped to number 3 behind Texas A&M. Here’s the rest of the big gainers this season.
The biggest increases among Power Five schools: Texas A&M (21 percent), Maryland (14 percent), LSU (11 percent), Mississippi State (10 percent), Rutgers (9 percent), Florida State (9 percent) and UCLA (nine percent). Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State expanded their stadiums this season. Maryland and Rutgers were new Big Ten members.
The biggest decreases in the Power Five: Purdue (28 percent), Pittsburgh (17 percent), Virginia (15 percent), Kansas (10 percent), Arizona State (9 percent) and Oklahoma State (8 percent).
For a complete breakdown, and at least SOMETHING to brag about this year, check out all of the results.
H/T CBS Sports