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Volume 25 No. 177
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Woe The Boat: Minnesota Sees One Of Biggest Attendance Drops In D-I

UM's average announced attendance was 37,914, its lowest since '92
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Minnesota's announced football crowd numbers this fall "showed some of the steepest declines in the nation," as TCF Bank Stadium was "less than half full for five of the team’s seven home games," according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. UM's average announced attendance was 37,914, its lowest since '92. That total is announced attendance, or tickets distributed, "not the actual number of tickets scanned at the turnstiles." The official scanned ticket numbers "show the Gophers’ actual average attendance was 22,656." Three years ago, the average announced attendance was 52,355, "all but filling the stadium that whole season." That average has dropped 14,440 since '15 (STARTRIBUNE.com, 11/23).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: In Texas, Cherry & Werner noted the crowd of 27,308 for Baylor's 35-24 win over Texas Tech on Saturday "marked the smallest turnout" of the games played between the two teams at AT&T Stadium since '09. It also was the "third straight year that attendance had decreased, after crowds of 41K and 34K" in '16 and ’17, respectively. Baylor and Texas Tech "topped more than 50,000 in attendance in all but one ['12 -- 44,168] of the first six meetings" at AT&T. In October, the programs "announced that the series would return to on-campus sites" for '19 (Waco) and '20 (Lubbock) (WACOTRIB.com, 11/25).

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Missouri coach Barry Odom last Thursday "told fans he'd pay for their tickets if they didn't have a way to attend" the home finale against Arkansas on Friday. In St. Louis, Dave Matter noted the school's ticket office then "opened the phone lines and took orders under the Odom special, offering free general admission seats priced at $25" through Tuesday afternoon. MU took orders for 5,537 tickets, which "adds up to $138,425 on the head coach's tab." MU has "seen a dramatic drop in crowd size the last three years, and, in turn, a drop in ticket revenue, which greatly impacts the athletics department's bottom line." Heading into Friday's game, MU ranked 32nd nationally in average attendance at 51,297 fans per home game. From '08-14, MU "ranked between 22nd and 28th in attendance, never dipping below 61,000 for a season's average crowd" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/23).