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Big Ten Attendance: A look back, a look ahead

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Almost a quarter million fans were in B1G home stadiums this past week and the conference's season total attendance is just short of 5 million. With three weeks left.

We don't need a background like this against Indiana - come on out!
We don't need a background like this against Indiana - come on out!
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana at Highpoint Solutions Stadium

Alright, fans.  It's time.  Let's do this!

From last week's attendance article, two comments:

Weather definitely prevented a good turnout

But if we’re being honest, the fans can still do better. I’m sure it’ll come with better performances on the field, but the team can get better sooner if the fans provide a home-field advantage when necessary.

On the Banks - Managing Editor

This is different.

This [Wisc game] was on ESPN, which we never are, so this was a big deal. Now some viewers probably think that we aren’t loyal fans because of our turnout, especially for Homecoming. I know it is not huge, but this is about perception.

Perception is reality.  If people (recruits) see empty seats, what is the perception?  This is the last home game of the year.  This is for bowl eligibility.  This is for at least a .500 season, in our first Big Ten season.  This is to prove a lot of pundits and other "experts" wrong.  So will the fans be there?

Stub Hub on Monday afternoon had over 1800 tickets available for sale, some as low as $22.   I went to the Rutgers online ticket site. There were seats available throughout the stadium, in many cases just a single seat in a section. To see what was out there I looked for a pair of tickets, clicking on "Best Available". I was bumped upstairs, to a 40-50 yard line seat in the 13th row.

Dynamic Pricing Sideline Sect 223 Row 13 Seats 18-19  
2 @   $100.00 $200.00

But looking at the availability map online, there were 90 seats left unsold behind those "Best Available" ones in that same section.  A sellout is not likely.

Weather was mentioned, too.  The National Weather Service forecast shows this for Saturday:

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 43.

That, my friends, is football weather.  And a 3:30 start, plenty of time to get there.  So.......

Indiana vs ttfp

Indiana, I'm sure, was hoping the big name clout of ttfp would put fans in the seats this past weekend. I mean, it's only 545 miles from State College to Bloomington, a short jaunt for real fans.  Alas....

The Nitty "We're a national brand" Kitties used their immense drawing power to bring 42,623 people to Indiana's Memorial Stadium, creating the....third largest crowd of the season there.  The attendance put the crowd at a tad over 80% capacity.

Attendance 'round the Big Ten

Most of the big kahunas of the conference were on the road, which should have meant good crowds. But even a rising Wisconsin team couldn't generate interest at Purdue.  The game of the week in East Lansing exceeded capacity, something that keeps happening in the B1G.

School Attendance Capacity % Capacity Result Opponent
Michigan State 76,409 75,005 101.87 L 49-37 Ohio St
Minnesota 49,680 50,805 97.79 W 51-14 Iowa
Northwestern 42,429 47,130 90.03 L 10-9 Michigan
Indiana 42,683 52,929 80.64 L 13-7 Penn State
Purdue 35,068 62,500 56.11 L 34-16 Wisconsin

RU last year at this time

I was wondering how the move to the Big Ten was influencing our attendance.  Of course, last year at this time we were 5-3 and heading into a home contest with Cincinnati.  And then the wheels really fell off.

Rutgers 2013
Opponent Attendance % Capacity Result
Norfolk St 49,111 52,454 93.63 W 38-0
East. Michigan 47,604 52,454 90.75 W 28-10
Arkansas 51,969 52,454 99.08 W 28-24
Houston 52,200 52,454 99.52 L 49-14
Temple 46,447 52,454 88.55 W 23-20
Cincinnati 40,870 52,454 77.92 L 52-17
USF 37,645 52,454 71.77 W 31-6
Season Average 46,549 88.74

Schadenfreude, or our weekly look at Syracuse football attendance

Syracuse was playing the nation's #22 Team in Duke.  A conference game and their final home game of the season.  This photo was taken towards the close of the first quarter.  A late arriving crowd?  An announced crowd of 39,331 in the circus tent of the tundra put the total at 79.84% of capacity.

And the Orange for their home season:

Opponent Attendance Capacity % Capacity
Nova @ Syr 41,189 49,262 83.61
Md @ Syr 40,511 49,262 82.24
ND@ MetLife 76,802
L'Ville @ Syr 37,569 49,262 76.26
Fla St @ Syr 43,295 49,262 87.89
NC St @ Syr 40,787 49,262 82.80
Duke @ Syr 39,331 49,262 79.84
Home Total 162,564 49,262 82.11
Home Ave 40,670 49,262 82.56
only @ Dome