Considering the frequently discussed frustration with football attendance, I got to thinking that the size of the surrounding metropolitan area could be limiting the team's attendance potential. The multitude of other entertainment options in large cities being so much greater than that of rural centers. (Perhaps this is also outweighs the poor attendance figures in the eyes of some recruits.)
To get a bit of an idea how much of an impact this has, I pulled together this quick overview of major D1 Teams in or near major cities (ca. 1 mil pop.). Data includes stadium capacity, average 2012 home attendance and 2011 W/L record (assuming previous year success impacts interest in the following year) Colors indicate performance vs. average of this group. Green = Above, Red = Below.
A couple of interesting points come to light:
- Maryland is the only school below average on all accounts.
- Even after a 2-10 season, Maryland comes closer to selling out than most teams sharing their local pro stadiums.
- Byrd capacity is actually below average in this group (however, take out the absurd texas and pac 12 stadiums and Byrd seems about 5-10k too large when compared with the others - probably could have done without the upper deck. would improve the atmosphere and may have saved a few of the lost teams)
- Who knew Rutgers averaged nearly 50k per game?
In general, it is hard to say that how much the area affects the attendance level, but from these figures, it really doesn't look like more than an additional 5k per game can be expected (notwithstanding the newness factor of the B1G). Winning seems to help, so lets hope that winning brings those 5k additional to the upper deck. It looks depressing on a good day.
I am including a link to the file in case anyone wants to play around with it (or take the time to add a "sells beer" or "marketing budget" column, etc.). Any other thoughts or findings in the comments. enjoy: File
|School||Pro Stadium?||Stadium Capacity||2012 Avg. Attend.||%||2012 Avg. Empties||2011|
|San Diego State||Pro||71.294||30.879||43%||40.415||8||5||62%|
|University of Washington||70.168||58.617||84%||11.551||7||6||54%|