The SEC is the home of the most fanatical college football fans in the sport, they tell us. It’s the place where they’d draw 80,000 fans to watch walk-ons practice catching punts. It really does just mean more.
So what does it say about the conference, and the sport as a whole, when one of its members tore less than 25,000 tickets per game?
That’s the case at Missouri, where, according to a report Tuesday from Columbia Missourian, the Tigers scanned an average of 24,377 tickets over the course of the team’s seven-game home schedule.
Now, there are some mitigating factors here. The school says the number is a far cry from the actual paid attendance because the stadium’s electronic ticket scanners did not work on a number of occasions, thereby allowing untold thousands of paying customers to enter the stadium without being counted. And, no doubt, that was a factor — though how big a factor, no one can say.
But it’s still a far cry from the 51,865 fans Missouri says attended each game, which itself is a far cry from Faurot Field’s listed capacity of 71,168.
Another mitigating factor: the home schedule. Tiger fans did get to see Georgia come to Faurot Field. Their other opponents, though: UT-Martin, Wyoming, Memphis, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents Mizzou fans grew up learning to hate. And as the article says, weather and timing didn’t help the Arkansas gate.
However, it’s not as if a poor attendance number can be blamed on poor performance. Mizzou went 5-2 at home in 2018.
And then there’s this: the 2018 schedule is more or less Mizzou’s home schedule every year. In 2019, Missouri plays host to West Virginia, Southeast Missouri State, South Carolina, Troy, Ole Miss, Florida and Tennessee.
Let’s see if Missouri can tear more than 25,000 tickets per game this time around.