We’re biased, but we believe college football is the most popular sport in America only behind the NFL. However, 2012 stadium attendance numbers don’t exactly reflect that. Per a story from al.com, college football attendance dipped to an average of 45,274 fans per game, the lowest since 2003.
Average attendance in college football peaked in 2008 with 46,739, so 2012’s numbers represent roughly a 3 percent decrease. This was the second year in a row that college football stadiums collectively averaged less than 46,000 fans per game. Some drops were minor, while others — Penn State and Tennessee, for example — experienced a 5 percent drop.
On the other hand, UCLA (21 percent) USC (18 percent) and Vanderbilt (15 percent) all saw significant increases.
You can check out the story and full chart HERE.
The reason? You can probably point to a few factors. Economy combined with ticket prices can be an easy deterrent when the experience of watching football at home is as great as its ever been. When you add in some cruddy non-conference games, fans simply aren’t going to shell out their hard-earned dollars for a blowout win over, say, South Alabama.