An interesting point was made by acaffrey in the comments section of his recent article regarding potential division realignment in the ACC and the ramifications of moving to a schedule with 10 conference games.
The schools that pack their stadiums need 6 or 7 home games a year.
Coincidentally, I started compiling the attendance data for ACC home games just before the end of the regular season but never got around to completing a full post. So, it was a good reminder and a perfect opportunity to look deeper at which schools can boast the best attendance.
|School||% Capacity||Total||Home Games||Average:|
|North Carolina State||91%||425,420||8||53,178|
|* Attendance information unavailable for one game|
All of the information was taken from box scores available at ESPN which is based on the school’s reporting of games. Which is subject to error (as anyone who has watched a Syracuse game can attest). Also, for whatever reason the attendance for FSU/Idaho and UNC/Old Dominion were not available – anyone has that information and would like to share it I will update the table accordingly. Lastly, I’m only counting home games here. So, games played at neutral sites – even if close to the school – were not accounted for.
First, there were two schools (NC State and UVA) who had eight home games this year. Interestingly, neither team went bowling. However, give NC State fans a ton of credit. Despite having a very disappointing season, they managed to report over 90% capacity on the season.
No surprise that Clemson and Florida State have the highest gross total of attendance, with each team claiming over 500,000 in attendance (the FSU total does not include the Idaho game, but we’ll assume that at least 37,114 fans attended).
However, when you break down their opponents, you can see that neither team really had an attractive schedule.
Consider this: Clemson had the slightly more attractive schedule for fans whose 7 homes games included: 4 conference games (most notably FSU and GaTech), 2 FCS teams (really Clemson?), and 1 SEC (which more than makes up for the 2 FCS games).
|S. Carolina St.||81,428|
|Average Capacity (%):||99%|
Meanwhile, FSU also hosted 7 games and had a lackluster schedule consisting of: 1 bad MWC team, 1 FCS, 1 FBS independent/bottom dweller, and 4 conference games (most notably Miami).
|Average Capacity (%):||91%|
Not exactly Murderer’s Row. In fact, you could argue that the best non-conference team that FSU played was Bethune Cookman who at least made it to the first round of the Div. 1 Football Championship. Fortunately, both schools have much better schedules lining up next year, including OOC home games with Notre Dame and Florida, and South Carolina respectively.
Home attendance for the upper echelon teams should not really be an objection to a 10 conference games. If Florida State can get 74k for Bethune Cookman, and Clemson can get 81k for South Carolina State, then they could easily get that many (or possibly more) to see conference match-ups against Louisville, Pitt, or UNC for example.
Here are all of the teams’ results for your review and comments below:
|Nevada||73,847||N. Carolina Central||22,521|
|Max Capacity:||84,392||Max Capacity:||33,941|
|Average Capacity (%):||91%||Average Capacity (%):||77%|
|S. Carolina St.||81,428||North Carolina||49,445|
|Wake Forest||80,607||Virginia Tech||50,214|
|Georgia Tech||75,324||Alabama A&M||49,194|
|Max Capacity:||81,500||Max Capacity:||55,000|
|Average Capacity (%):||99%||Average Capacity (%):||90%|
|Boston College||Virginia Tech|
|Florida State||40,129||North Carolina||65,632|
|Max Capacity:||44,500||Max Capacity:||66,233|
|Average Capacity (%):||74%||Average Capacity (%):||97%|
|Wake Forest||38,550||Georgia Tech||47,008|
|Boston College||37,406||Virginia Tech||49,267|
|Average Capacity (%):||78%||Max Capacity:||76,100|
|Total:||229,661||Average Capacity (%):||71%|
|Florida Int’l||36,321||Middle Tennessee||48,000|
|Old Dominion||38,377||East Carolina||60,000|
|Max Capacity:||54,000||Max Capacity:||62,980|
|Average Capacity (%):||76%||Average Capacity (%):||82%|
|UL Monroe||26,505||New Mexico||40,249|
|Florida State||30,865||Notre Dame||65,500|
|Average Capacity (%):||92%||Max Capacity:||65,500|
|Total:||173,542||Average Capacity (%):||76%|
|North Carolina State||Virginia|
|Central Michigan||56,728||Ball State||38,228|
|North Carolina||57,583||Georgia Tech||41,930|
|Max Capacity:||58,583||Max Capacity:||61,500|
|Average Capacity (%):||91%||Average Capacity (%):||75%|