Spring football was a big deal at a pair of Big Ten institutions this month. Nebraska pulled in a crowd of over 76,000 fans this past weekend in Lincoln to see the spring debut of new head coach Mike Riley. The 76,881 Husker fans in attendance would have topped the nation’s leading spring game attendance number pulled in by Alabama a year ago. Seeing a new head coach make his spring debut was also a huge draw at the University of Michigan. The Wolverines are not traditionally a powerhouse when it comes to spring game attendance, but with an estimated crowd of 60,000 flowing through the ticket gates for a glimpse of the Jim Harbaugh era, Michigan has held on strong this spring.
As a reminder, not every school treats the end of the spring practice schedule in the same fashion. Some schools charge a small fee for a ticket, others open the doors with no charge for admission. Others do not hold a game or live scrimmage for one reason or another, and sometimes the final practice doesn’t even take place in the football stadium. In addition, some schools do not track attendance figures at all, leaving us to resort to the best reported estimates where applicable.Some numbers are still coming in and to be confirmed, but here is your most up-to-date top ten in spring game attendance heading into the third weekend of the month of April.
Some numbers are still coming in and to be confirmed, but here is your most up-to-date top ten in spring game attendance heading into the third weekend of the month of April.
1. 76,881 – Nebraska (Big Ten)
2. 60,000 – Michigan (Big Ten)
3. 46,815 – Georgia (SEC)
4. 42,807 – Oklahoma (Big 12)
5. 37,000 – Clemson (ACC)
6. 22,788 – USC (Pac-12)
7. 22,580 – South Carolina (SEC)
8. 21,000 – Florida (SEC)
9. 17,250 – Florida State (ACC)
10. 15,000 – Ole Miss (SEC)
We should see some changes in this top ten this weekend. A handful of spring game attendance powers are scheduled for spring ball this weekend, including the defending national champions from Ohio State. The buzz surrounding the quarterback position and continued celebration of a national championship could give a boost to a traditionally strong spring attendance. Penn State should also draw well if the weather looks good. In the SEC we will have Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Mississippi State closing out the spring. Notre Dame and Texas will also be playing their spring games this weekend.