New NCAA Attendance Records Upcoming?

Submitted by JClay on November 7th, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I searched and didn't see a topic already discussing this topic, and since everyone seems down in the dumps today after the tough Iowa loss (or, alternately, all Penn State-y, which is even more depressing), I thought I'd point out the good news that we're on great position to break our 2010 NCAA Record for Highest Average Home Game Attendance, which was set at 111,825. Here's where we stand so far:

Western Michigan     110,506
Notre Dame               114,804
Eastern Michigan      110,343
San Diego State        110,707
Minnesota                   111,106
Purdue                         112,115
Nebraska                     xxx,xxx
Ohio State                    xxx,xxx

So, through six games 669,581 fans have visited Michigan Stadium so far this season, averaging out to 111,597. We're alittle behind 2010's pace, but our only two home games left will be two of our biggest presumed-attendance games: Nebraska and Ohio State. I don't think replicating UTL's numbers for either of those contests seems likely, but we might use last year's MSU or UConn games as good placeholders (both between 113,000-113,500). If we estimate conservatively and hit 113,000 for each of our final two home games, we would be just under 112,000 fans on average, beating out old record by around 125 per game.

Also, M-Wolverine asked about the NCAA Single-Season Total Home Attendance record (since the 2010 average-attendance record was set with just 7 home games). Our 2007 team holds that with 882,115. We would need to average only 106,268 in our last two games to break that, so it seems an even more sure bet! Assuming 113,000 in our last two games would put the new record around 895,000, breaking the old record by almost 13,000!

It was probably inevitable with the stadium additions that we break our 1999 average-attendance mark a couple of times, and our 2007 total home attendance record eventually, and this season has been the perfect storm of having Ohio State, Nebraska, and Notre Dame all visit the Big House (one of them in a record-setting first night game) amid 8 homes games. Still, its fun to know that all of us who attended a game this season were part of the soon-to-be new records, and that Michigan athletics will continue to garner publicity for The Big House. Go Blue!

EDIT: I used the 1999 average-attendance record initally (dang you, un-updated Wikipedia!), not the 2010 record. That has been corrected. 



November 7th, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

With the away games, we might.  Not the same thing, I know, but still pretty impressive.  How many college football teams (or pro teams for that matter) can claim to play in front of a million plus in a given year. 


November 7th, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

This and Blue Lurker's posts make perfect sense and definitely explains how games with clearly less than 100K are counted as close to 110K. However, I would love to hear the university's explaination for counting number of tickets sold as "attendance." The two terms are not even close to synonymous.

Blue Lurker

November 7th, 2011 at 5:20 PM ^

The university counts all tickets sold and/or given away in the attendance numbers.    This is why you will never see an attendance number less than the stadium capacity when it is clearly obvious that not every one came to the game.

The reason that the numbers vary from game to game is due to the number of press, attendants, visitors, vendors, cheerleaders etc.   



November 7th, 2011 at 4:06 PM ^

Question, and I've always wondered this: how do they sell so many tickets over their listed capacity (109,901)? I mean, if you sell a ticket for section 1, row 1, seat #1, you can't sell a second ticket for that seat, right?


November 7th, 2011 at 4:39 PM ^

It counts everyone in the stadium. The players and coaches for both teams, the announcers up in the press box, the opposing band on the visitors sideline, (presumably) the people working the concession stands, etc. In theory, all those people are IN ATTENDANCE at the event, whether they have a marked seat or not.


November 7th, 2011 at 4:50 PM ^

109,901 is the number of ticketed seats, as I understand it. It doesn't count players or coaches, or opposing bands, or seats in the press boxes. (Luxury boxes can also be filled beyone sold ticketed capacity, in theory).

And yes, I believe it's standard practice most everywhere. No one calls hijinks (except when Jerry Jones claims 20,000+ people who buy party-passes to be in a roped off area congruent to the stadium without any view of the seats, much less the field, are somehow in attendance, like he did that one time).


November 7th, 2011 at 5:25 PM ^

I'm sure OSU will get 113K, but will Nebraska?  I'm not sure.  112K definitely, but some visitors might just wait until the next week.


November 7th, 2011 at 7:21 PM ^

I could see it happening. Alot of people would want to see Nebraska play for the first time and quite a few Nebraska fans around the midwest probably want to witness a game in the Big House and now they have a great excuse. But I have no idea how widespread their fanbase is.

Go Ugly Early

November 7th, 2011 at 7:49 PM ^

I always hear around bowl season how unbelievably well Nebraska fans travel. I guess we'll see first hand, but I'm sure Neb fans will flood the Big House more than any of our visitor fans to this point in the season. Does anyone know how well Nebraska fans represented at Wisconsin and Minny this year?


November 8th, 2011 at 3:22 AM ^

Extremely well it seems. I've always 'heard' how great their fans travel but saw firsthand last month. I was in Madison for the Nebraska/Wisconsin game and though I don't have numbers/figures, it was impressive to say the least, to see how well their fans flooded the small city. It seemed many, many fans even travelled without plans of attending the game but to be there for the team/game atmosphere.

Louisville Wolverine

November 8th, 2011 at 7:24 AM ^

Would the Western game count? Wasn't the NCAA not recognizing the game or did that change? It would seem that all stats from the game would be thrown out, including attendance figures.

Sorry to bear bad news if true.


November 8th, 2011 at 7:26 PM ^

The SPECTATOR seats in the bowl and in the suites make up the 109,901.  The announced attendance includes all of the "extras" -- stadium workers/maintenance/concessions/game operations, media (both on field an in press box), bands, teams, ROTC color guard, suite wait staff, etc., which, with a premium game, “extras” can climb to near 5,000.

One example of this extra count is word on the field for the ND UTL game was ND brought their FULL band (not road band) to help tip the attendance to nearly 115,000.

The Athletic Department knows exactly how many extras are in attendance each game by the number of credentials they distribute.