How crowded are the SEC football stadiums?
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the factors leading to potential decline in attendance for live sporting events.
With the advancement of picture quality for TVs and the expansion of the amount of games televised each week, it is becoming easier and easier for fans to make the decision to avoid the cost of going to a game by watching from the comfort of their homes.
But is the SEC different? The league prides itself on game day tradition and atmosphere that you just can’t replicate on the couch.
Earlier this month, Athlon Sports’ Braden Gall wrote a story that analyzed the attendance of Power 5 football games based on the percentage of stadium seats filled last season.
Here is how the SEC ranked among the 65 power conference teams:
2014 SEC Stadium Capacity Percentage
6. Kyle Field (102.5)
7. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (101.6)
8. Williams-Brice Stadium (101.4)
12. Sanford Stadium (100.0)
13. Jordan-Hare Stadium (100.0)
16. Bryant-Denny Stadium (99.7)
17. Davis Wade Stadium (99.6)
19. Tiger Stadium (99.4)
22. Neyland Stadium (97.4)
23. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (96.9)
37. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (92.4)
40. Faurot Field (91.7)
49. Commonwealth Stadium (85.2)
50. Vanderbilt Stadium (84.5)
So what do these numbers tell us about the league? Some thoughts:
- Considering the large size of the average SEC venue, the fact that half the league is within a half-percentage of full capacity is pretty impressive. In particular, the fact that Kyle Field led the league with over 100-percent capacity in spite of an 8-5 record during a major stadium renovation is something that should make Aggies fans proud.
- Perhaps one of the more surprising results is the Crimson Tide finishing sixth in the league in spite of again being one of the nation’s elite teams in 2014. Is Nick Saban likely to complain about that missing 0.3 percent on Alabama’s capacity number? Absolutely.
- Faurot Field, which ranks 10th in the league in capacity at 71,168, only being 91.7 percent full during a second consecutive SEC East championship run for Missouri has to be a little disappointing to Tigers fans.
- Kentucky’s renovation of Commonwealth Stadium includes a retraction of just more than 1,000 seats, so a combination of improved play on the field and improved quality inside the stadium could help the Wildcats move up the rankings this season.
- Vanderbilt is one of the more interesting cases in these rankings. In spite of having by far the smallest stadium in the conference (40,350) located in the largest city in the league, the Commodores still ranked last in the SEC at 84.5-percent capacity. The league’s only private school is hurt by the small base of students at the private school and sparse alumni in the Nashville area, but the Commodores are aided by the typically large contingency of visiting fans that make the trip to Music City.
What do you guys find most interesting about these numbers?