Where is Everyone? An Examination of Attendance at College Football Bowl Games

Terence Eddy
Daniel Rascher
and Rebecca Stewart

College football is considered by many to be an important aspect of campus life, which also promotes a connection with alumni and other supporters (Toma, 2003). The overall interest in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football remains high, as 35.3 million fans attended regular-season games during the 2012 season (though it should be noted that this represents a 3% drop from the all-time high in 2008) (Solomon, 2012). However, these figures can be deceiving when considering that the range of spectator interest in FBS football is extremely wide. For example, four teams (Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, and Texas) drew more than 100,000 fans per game on average in 2012, while Eastern Michigan and Akron drew fewer than 10,000 fans per game (Solomon, 2012).