On The Lane Train: FAU Football Attendance Sets School Records In '17 Behind Kiffin
The FAU football team won Conference USA in coach Lane Kiffin's first season and "recorded some of its best ever attendance marks," according to Jake Elman of the PALM BEACH POST. In the team's first winning season since '08, FAU Stadium "attracted 125,588 attendees over seven games, an average of 17,941 per game." Both marks are "single-season highs," which FAU AD Pat Chun "tied to the winning culture Kiffin has brought" to the school. Chun said, “Winning does matter in this market, and this market is as complex as there is.” Since FAU Stadium’s first full season in '12, only '15 "saw more than 100,000 total attendees (105,703, with over 30,000 coming in a home sellout loss to Miami after extra seats were opened)." But issues with student attendance "continue to plague the program." Both the season opener against Navy and the annual game against FIU "attracted heavy student crowds, but the other games brought smaller numbers from on campus." Some around the program "believe attendance for the Conference USA Championship was hurt not only by the noon start time, but by regulations placed on FAU’s fraternities and sororities." A source said that Greek groups "were not allowed to set up at the tailgate in response to other incidents around the country, including Florida State’s recent decision to suspend Greek life indefinitely" (PALM BEACH POST, 12/8).
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Marci Shatzman notes FAU plays Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium, which for the first time "will feature a South Florida team." Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl organizers said that that is "sparking big demand for tickets." It "will be a home game" for FAU and ticket sales for the Dec. 19 game are "on track to surpass last year’s, even though the teams were just announced this past weekend." FAU Assistant AD/Media Relations Katrina McCormack said that the usual 30,000-seat stadium "will be down to 26,419 for the game, because the other seats will be used for other purposes" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 12/8).