SBD/December 9, 2013/Colleges

Attendance Up For Championship Games Among BCS AQ Conferences

The SEC drew eight more fans for its title game at the Georgia Dome than in '12

Each BCS conference that holds a conference championship game saw an increase in attendance in '13. The Auburn-Missouri SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome led all title games with 75,632 fans on Saturday afternoon. That figure is up slightly from 75,624 fans for the Alabama-Georgia game last year and the best attendance for the game since Auburn-South Carolina drew 75,802 in '10. The three-year-old Pac-12 Championship, which is played at the home site of the school with the best conference record, saw a record 69,535 fans for the Stanford-Arizona State matchup at Sun Devil Stadium. The three-year-old Big Ten Championship game, which featured Michigan State-Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium, also drew a record crowd, with 66,002 fans in attendance. Meanwhile, the nine-year-old ACC Championship game drew 67,694 fans for the Florida State-Duke matchup at Bank of America Stadium. That figure is up from the 64,778 that saw FSU-Georgia Tech last year, but down from 73,675 for Clemson-Virginia Tech in '11 (THE DAILY). In Michigan, Josh Slagter noted the Big Ten Championship game "looked like it was close to 75 percent Ohio State fans." Slagter: "That's how a program travels. We'll assume Michigan State fans were just saving for a California vacation" (MLIVE.com, 12/8). 

FIT FOR A QUEEN
: In Charlotte, Steve Harrison reported the ACC Championship Game "appears to be safe in Charlotte, at least for the short term." ACC ADs have "given numerous indications that they want to keep the game" at the venue. This year's game was the last scheduled under the current agreement between the ACC and Charlotte Sports Foundation, but both sides are negotiating "an extension" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/7). The foundation took out a full-page ad in yesterday's Charlotte Observer thanking the ACC and its fans (THE DAILY).

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ATTENDANCE TREND
YEAR
VENUE MATCHUP
ATTENDANCE
'13
Georgia Dome Auburn-Missouri
75,632
'12
Georgia Dome Alabama-Georgia
75,624
'11
Georgia Dome LSU-Georgia
74,515
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP ATTENDANCE TREND
YEAR
VENUE MATCHUP
ATTENDANCE
'13
Bank of America Stadium Florida State-Duke
67,694
'12
Bank of America Stadium Florida State-Georgia Tech
64,778
'11
Bank of America Stadium Clemson-Virginia Tech
73,675
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP ATTENDANCE TREND
YEAR
VENUE MATCHUP
ATTENDANCE
'13
Lucas Oil Stadium Michigan State-Ohio State
66,002
'12
Lucas Oil Stadium Wisconsin-Nebraska
41,260
'11
Lucas Oil Stadium Wisconsin-Michigan State
64,152
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP ATTENDANCE TREND
(played at home site of best record)
YEAR
VENUE MATCHUP
ATTENDANCE
'13
Sun Devil Stadium Stanford-Arizona State
69,535
'12
Stanford Stadium Stanford-UCLA
31,622
'11
Autzen Stadium Oregon-UCLA
59,376
     

ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS: With FSU and Auburn playing in the final BCS Championship game, ESPN’s Jesse Palmer said of the system, “You can say what you want to say about the BCS. It created controversy, it created debate, a little bit of confusion. We didn’t always understand the computer formula and that part of the BCS. At the end of the day, more often than not, it got it right. Now we’re entering the playoff. Rest assured there will be more controversy down the road.” ESPN’s David Pollack added, “I’m just very thankful that I don’t have to hear about computers anymore. I don’t want to hear the computers got to rank this, the computers got to rank that. I want to hear who people, who watch games, how they rank them” (“BCS Selection Show,” ESPN, 12/8). Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany prior to Saturday's games said of the BCS, “It served all of us really well. It’s always controversial. We’ve got pollsters, coaches, Harris voters and computer quants. They’ve served us fairly well, and if you don’t like them, it’ll change in about 28 hours" (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 12/7).

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