Look: Crowd shots, final attendance numbers for every SEC spring game
Arkansas and its “two summers” philosophy closed out spring practice Saturday, the 13th and final SEC team to conduct a spring game.
Ole Miss, the other team, did not hold a game due to renovations at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Now begins the long wait for September. The SEC will hold its spring meetings starting on May 31. SEC Media Days take place July 11-14, and then fall practice begins about three weeks after that.
The SEC once again managed to display its fanaticism for its football teams, claiming five of the 10 largest spring football attendance numbers this year. (More on that below.)
Ohio State packed more than 100,000 fans into its stadium this year, and Georgia set an all-time SEC record with an announced crowd of 93,000.
Attendance at SEC spring games
|School||2016 Attendance||2015 Attendance|
*New all-time record
For comparison purposes, here’s a look at the spring game attendance record for all 14 teams prior to 2016.
Also, here are some shots of all 13 crowds.
The Razorbacks crowd fell by a large amount compared to 2015, when Hogs fans anticipated a major breakthrough. And we all suspect that SIDs inflate the spring game numbers. Still, “30,000” fans attending a glorified spring practice remains impressive. And those fans will be very happy if Austin Allen can continue what brother Brandon Allen started last year.
15 minutes until "kickoff" pic.twitter.com/RSscw5hoKm
— John Nabors (@TheForumJohn) April 23, 2016
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.
— Daniel Ashford (@DanielSAshford) April 16, 2016
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.
— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) April 16, 2016
Kirby Smart challenged #DawgNation to pack 93,000 in Sanford.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 16, 2016
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.
Solid crowd gathering for UK's spring game Cat Walk. pic.twitter.com/6IPhoBuruE
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) April 16, 2016
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).
There are people here … Unless those are prison inmates on a field trip. pic.twitter.com/aaApzSf94O
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) April 16, 2016
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.
— Co-Lin Recruiter (@CoLinRecruiter) April 16, 2016
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.
— KTGR BigShow (@KTGRBigShow) April 16, 2016
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.
Crowd update…a little under 30 minutes before kickoff pic.twitter.com/EZiweVkJ0y
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) April 16, 2016
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.
— Josh LaSelva (@JoshLaSelva) April 9, 2016
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.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) April 9, 2016
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.
— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) April 9, 2016
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.
If you’re going to watch football in April, might as well do it in the nicest stadium in America. pic.twitter.com/CB85Z8intY
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) April 9, 2016
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.
An aerial look at the crowd for the Vandy spring game as players took the field. Everyone on one side. pic.twitter.com/adMkPHStfA
— Nick Cole (@NickColeSports) March 25, 2016
— Nate P (@nateboy921) March 26, 2016
Totally agree. Vandy fans should brag about low spring game attendance. They are the smart ones on this. https://t.co/CR8FggnaB4
— The Midday 180 (@Midday180) March 25, 2016
And for what it’s worth, the SEC closed the weekend with five of the nation’s 10 highest spring game attendance totals. Take a look at the national top 10: