SEC Football Attendance (Comparison) Analysis

Fan attendance is a discussion topic and is often seen as a reflection of fan support and program success.  Today we will look at attendance figures along with several other items among Clemson University and schools in the SEC in 2010.  We performed a basic ACC attendance comparison before and that can be found here

Overall enrollment numbers for SEC teams were attained from Wikipedia here.  Average attendance numbers were attained from the NCAA here.  Stadium capacity information was attained from College Gridirons here.  I believe the enrollment numbers include graduate students so they may look a little higher than one would expect.  The overall information for SEC schools can be seen in Table I below and graphical representations shown in subsequent figures.

Basic Institutional Information

School

Location

Student Enrollment

Home Games

Total Attendance

Average Attendance

Avg. Attendance per Student

Stadium Capacity

Average Percent of Capacity

Clemson

Clemson, South Carolina

19,453

7

542,280

77,469

3.98

81,500

95.1%

Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

30,232

7

712,747

101,821

3.37

101,000

100.8%

Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

21,406

6

413,591

68,932

3.22

66,779

103.2%

Auburn

Auburn, Alabama

25,078

8

688,692

86,087

3.43

87,451

98.4%

Florida

Gainesville, Florida

51,474

7

633,579

90,511

1.76

88,548

102.2%

Georgia

Athens, Georgia

35,520

6

556,476

92,746

2.61

92,746

100.0%

Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

26,054

7

462,488

66,070

2.54

67,600

97.7%

LSU

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

28,810

7

649,023

92,718

3.22

92,400

100.3%

Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi

19,536

7

391,289

55,898

2.86

60,850

91.9%

Mississippi St.

Starkville, Mississippi

19,644

7

384,995

54,999

2.80

55,082

99.8%

South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

28,481

7

536,675

76,668

2.69

80,250

95.5%

Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

27,107

7

698,465

99,781

3.68

102,459

97.4%

Vanderbilt

Nashville, Tennessee

12,093

7

232,885

33,269

2.75

39,790

83.6%

Non-Clemson Average

--

27,120

7

530,075

76,625

2.83

77,913

98.3%

**Note** Arkansas splits home games between Razorback Stadium (5 games and a capacity of 72,000) and War Memorial Stadium (2 games and a capacity of 53,727).  Stadium capacity in this table is a computed weighted average between the two venues per game.

Stadium Capacity

Clemson's stadium capacity (as listed and, presumably approved by the Fire Marshall) is 81,500.  The average capacity for participants in this survey is 77,913.  This means Clemson's stadium size 4.6% larger than the average.  Clemson's stadium is much larger than Ole Miss, Miss St., Vandy, and Arkansas, yet is much smaller than Florida, Bama, Georgia, and Tennessee.  Clemson is on par/just above in-state rival South Carolina when you compare stadium capacity.  Overall, Clemson's stadium size is the statistical mode of this survey so it's fair to say that the Tigers are middle of the pack compared to SEC stadium statistics.

 

Sec_avg_stadium_capacity_medium

Average Home Game Attendance

Clemson averaged 77,469 fans per game compared to the SEC average of 76,625.  This equates to a 1.1% higher attendance that than the non-CU average.  Again, attendance numbers for Bama, UT, UGa, Auburn, LSU, and UF dwarf Clemson's numbers and Clemson dwarfs the rest of the SEC other than South Carolina in these figures.  Clemson is the statistical mode for this category and is just above at the statistical average for the SEC data set.  I'll admit that each school may count attendance differently (i.e., some teams count tickets sold while others count the number of people who go through the turnstiles), so slight inconsistencies in this category may exist based on how each count is made.

Sec_avg_football_attendance_medium

Percent of Capacity

Clemson's 95.1% capacity figure is over 3% lower than the SEC average.  Clemson is ahead of only Vandy and Ole Miss in the percentage of capacity category and is 0.1% behind the Gamecocks.  Five (5) of the teams in this poll had 100% or higher in this category.  We discussed possible differences in attendance counting earlier and this may have an effect on this category as well.

Sec_percent_capacity_medium

Enrollment

Clemson's enrollment on 19,453 is the second smallest (Vandy has 12,093 students).  The two Mississippi schools also have enrollment numbers in the 19,000's.  The average for the SEC schools is 27,120 students per institution.  Florida, Bama, and Georgia each have over 30,000 students, with Florida being the SEC leader with 51,474 pupils.  Clearly Clemson is much smaller than the majority of the schools in this survey.

 

Sec_student_enrollment_medium

Attendance per Student

Clemson's attendance per student is 3.98 spectators per enrolled student.  This is by far the highest ratio in the survey.  Bama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, and UT all have an attendance to student ratio of 3 or higher.  These schools are all well supported outside of the student body.  This statistic is a reflection of support given to the Clemson football team by alumni and fans in addition to those who attend the school.  We caution you to realize that each school has a different student ticket policy (most are less convenient than Clemson's) but still realize that the CU Tigers' fan base outside of the student population is very supportive.

Sec_avg_attendance_per_student_medium

All in all, Clemson held its own when compared to its average SEC counterparts.  CU was clearly way behind the teams who have won a national championship over the past 15 years and UGa in terms of attendance and stadium size.  Against the SEC as a whole, Clemson was average in stadium size and game attendance despite having one of the smallest student body populations in the article.  While Clemson was under the average in percent capacity, the fanbase followed this team to the tune of 77k plus each week.  This was further exemplified by an attendance to enrollment ratio near 4.  Interestingly, Clemson and USC's attendance figures were extremely similar despite the much larger university population and city size in Columbia.  Clemson overall has good fan support particularly considering the University's size.

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