Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

Final SEC Spring Game Attendance Numbers Are Out

gfx - by the numbersWith 14 SEC spring games now in the books, we can begin perusing the attendance numbers for each program.  Is this a fair comparison of overall interest in a program?  No.  Florida announced early that it would be conducting nothing more than an open practice session and its attendance suffered accordingly.  Auburn had the added draw of the final roll of the oaks at Toomer’s Corner and that spiked attendance on the Plains.  Schools with new coaches — Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas — all saw their attendance numbers jump a bit over last year’s attendance, which was to be expected.

Also these numbers are usually nothing more than stab-in-the-dark estimates.  And stab-in-the-dark estimates released by a school are usually spun to make gains look as big as possible and decreases appear as small as possible.

All that said, below are this year’s spring game attendance numbers from around the SEC.  We’ve also included last year’s attendance for comparison:


  School   2013 Attendance   2012 Attendance   Yr-Yr Change
  Auburn   83,401   43,427   + 39,974
  Alabama   78,315   78,526   – 211
  Tennessee   61,706   35,421   + 26,285
  Arkansas   51,088   45,250   + 5,838
  Kentucky   50,831   4,500   + 46,331
  Texas A&M   45,212   15,000   + 30,212
  Georgia   45,113   44,117   + 996
  S. Carolina   35,218   34,513   + 705
  LSU   28,000   33,000   – 5,000
  Ole Miss   28,000   25,000   + 3,000
  Miss. State   21,000   22,604   – 1,604
  Missouri   18,384   18,614   – 230
  Vanderbilt   14,000   8,500   + 5,500
  Florida   10,000   38,100   – 28,100
  SEC Average   40,733   31,899   + 8,834


Again, knowing that the SEC average of 40,733 is a ballpark number, let’s compare it to attendance across the nation for actual football games in 2012.  According to the NCAA data, the average attendance for the 763 games played by the 120 FBS schools last year was 44,970.  Meaning the average attendance for a spring game in the SEC was within about 5,000 people — give or take — of the average attendance for all regular-season football games across the country last year.

Keep in mind, too, that the SEC led the nation in average attendance last year with a number of 75,538.  Take away the SEC’s regular-season numbers and the overall FBS number drops… meaning that SEC fans are more interested in spring football than many other fans across the nation are interested in actual, meaningful football in the fall.

Even more interesting — and this says something about the power of bowls to draw crowds in the HDTV age — is the fact that last year’s average bowl game attendance came in at just 49,224.  (You can also bet that those numbers were inflated.)  In other words, SEC spring games on average drew within 10,000 people of an average bowl game played last season.

We say it every year, but no fans in the country care as much about college football as those of the Southeastern Conference region.  Credit the weather or fewer professional franchises, if you like, but the bottom line is — spring or fall, SEC fans turn out for anything involving a pigskin.

Post Comments » Comments (83)



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC