Seven SEC teams held spring games this weekend, and despite excellent weather, the games drew mixed results as far as attendance.

It appears that Ohio State won the day with 100,000 fans, though Nebraska (72,000), Penn State (65,000) and Clemson (50,000) all had big crowds in non-SEC games.

Georgia, of course, managed to sell out Sanford Stadium.

Attendance at 2016 SEC spring games

South Carolina32,916
Texas A&M27,412
Mississippi State15,717
VanderbiltEst. 3,500

For comparison purposes, here’s a look at the spring game attendance numbers in the SEC in 2015 and 2014 as well as the spring game attendance record for all 14 teams.

Also, here are some shots of all 12 crowds.


The national championship seems to have boosted the Tide’s spring game attendance. Saturday’s crowd was the largest since ’13, when Bama was coming off back-to-back national titles. So much for the theory that Alabama fans are getting bored with winning.


It seemed almost comical how much the Bulldogs poured into marketing the first G-Day game of Kirby Smart. The team’s “call to action” video was well done, but since when is it normal to hype up a spring game like it’s life and death? Then Saturday arrived, and man, was that crowd impressive. Mission accomplished in terms of generating fan interest in this team.


We all suspect that most teams fudge on their spring attendance numbers, and UK is one of those under deep suspicion. Still, the Wildcats ranked ahead of several teams in terms of the spring game crowd.


For being such a renowned football crowd during the season, Tigers fans annually rank near the bottom of spring football attendance. Maybe Cajuns just have a refined taste for what is an event (a real SEC football game) vs. what is fairly trivial (a spring football practice).

Mississippi State

Outside of Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs crowd has been the smallest SEC group of the spring by far. There’s a core group of Mississippi State fans that are as passionate and knowledgable as any in the SEC, but the team may have a tough time getting the fringe type fans excited about this coming season.


The Tigers didn’t get the typical spring attendance boost provided by first-year head coaches. Attendance fell by more than 5,000 from last year’s game. But to be fair, that team was coming off back-to-back SEC East titles.


Vols fans are stoked for the ’16 season, and it showed Saturday with a strong spring attendance. The photo below isn’t a great depiction as it was taken a decent interval before kickoff. But nonetheless, Tennessee boasted the largest spring crowd outside of Georgia and Alabama — far outdoing SEC East rival Florida, though the Gators held their game on a Friday night.


Attendance last year was low — 21,000 — but the Gators were so thin at offensive line that the team couldn’t hold a traditional scrimmage. This year, Florida fans seemed excited to see a quarterback not named Treon Harris throwing passes — or maybe the big draw was placekicker Eddy Piniero.


Despite a gorgeous weather day and the school account trying to tout its large crowd, this was the lowest spring game attendance of the Gus Malzahn era, down a huge amount from the 62,143 it drew last year.

South Carolina

Will Muschamp managed to get 10,000 extra fans in the stands as opposed to the ’15 numbers. Generally, first-year head coaches draw the biggest crowds, as fans want a glimpse at what’s new.

Texas A&M

The Aggies saw a significant decline in spring game numbers from 2013 — the last time Texas A&M staged a spring game. Kyle Field renovations scrapped the game in ’14 and ’15.


The Commodores did not release an official spring attendance number, perhaps to avoid being a punch line. That doesn’t appear to have worked.

Vandy did beat Florida with the “Friday Night Lights” idea, and again was one of the first schools in the country to stage a spring game.