SBD/February 20, 2014/Research and Ratings

FBS Attendance Up Slightly In '13; AAC, C-USA Down Sharply With Realignment

FBS home attendance saw a slight uptick during the ’13 regular season (excluding neutral-site games), with 123 schools averaging 45,192 fans, according to analysis of recently released NCAA data. That figure is up from 44,970 fans last year, which remains the low mark over the last decade. The ’08 season remains the high mark all-time for FBS schools with 46,456 per game.

FBS HOME ATTENDANCE TREND (EXCLUDES NEUTRAL SITE, BOWL GAMES)
SEASON
TOTAL TEAMS
GAMES
AVERAGE
'13
123
782
45,192
'12
120
763
44,970
'11
120
759
45,498
'10
120
755
45,912
'09
120
757
45,545
'08
119
751
46,456
'07
119
749
46,328
'06
119
745
45,828
'05
117
670
45,628
'04
118
711
45,704

SOUTHERN COMFORT: Among FBS conferences, the SEC led the way with 75,674 fans per game among its 14 member schools. That figure was relatively flat compared to ’12. Among the conferences seeing sharp drops at the gate were the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA -- which both lost key schools to realignment. AAC attendance was down 14% year-over-year as Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the ACC. Conference USA attendance was down 16%, as UCF, Houston, Memphis and SMU all left for the AAC. Joining C-USA in ’13 were FAU, FIU, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and UTSA. On a positive attendance note, the MAC had an 8% increase in attendance after a sharp drop last season.

ATTENDANCE AMONG FBS CONFERENCES (EXCLUDES NEUTRAL SITE, BOWL GAMES)
RANK
CONFERENCE
'13
'12
'11
'10
'09
1
SEC
75,674
75,538
75,832
76,719
76,288
2
Big Ten
70,431
70,040
71,439
72,106
71,769
3
Big 12
58,899
59,004
63,265
62,975
62,875
4
Pac-12
53,619
53,679
52,249
53,819
54,186
5
ACC
49,982
49,910
51,406
51,493
51,249
6
AAC
33,712
39,185
43,766
45,028
44,804
7
Mountain West
26,080
25,888
29,035
34,464
33,202
8
Conference USA
21,510
25,639
26,509
28,454
26,600
9
Sun Belt
19,859
19,766
19,193
17,969
16,463
10
MAC
16,739
15,526
17,033
15,609
15,317

YOU’RE MY BOY, BLUE! Michigan led all schools for the 16th straight season with 111,592 fans per game, which was down slightly from an FBS-record 112,525 fans per game last season. Penn State ranked fifth among all schools, but had its lowest average since the ’01 expansion of Beaver Stadium. Tennessee ranked sixth this season and saw attendance rise 6% from ’12, which was the school’s lowest figure since the ’96 expansion of Neyland Stadium. Several other programs with traditionally strong attendance saw a drop in '13, including LSU (lowest since ’02), Florida (lowest since ’04) and USC (lowest since ’02). South Carolina came up just short of the school record of 82,614 set in ’01 (THE DAILY).

TOP 15 SCHOOLS IN FBS ATTENDANCE IN '13 (EXCLUDES NEUTRAL SITE, BOWL GAMES)
RANK
SCHOOL
'13
'12
'11
'10
'09
1
Michigan
111,592
112,252
112,179
111,825
108,933
2
Ohio State
104,933
105,330
105,231
105,278
105,261
3
Alabama
101,505
101,722
101,821
101,821
92,012
4
Texas
98,976
100,884
100,524
100,654
101,175
5
Penn State
96,587
96,730
101,427
104,234
107,008
6
Tennessee
95,584
89,965
94,642
99,781
99,220
7
Georgia
92,746
92,703
92,613
92,746
92,746
8
LSU
91,418
92,626
92,868
92,718
92,489
9
Florida
87,440
87,597
89,061
90,511
90,635
10
Texas A&M
87,125
87,014
87,183
82,477
76,800
11
Auburn
85,657
82,646
85,792
86,087
84,614
12
Oklahoma
84,722
85,243
85,161
84,738
84,778
13
South Carolina
82,401
80,001
79,131
76,668
75,369
14
Clemson
82,048
79,429
78,234
75,786
74,214
15
USC
73,126
87,945
74,806
79,907
84,799

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