On Tuesday, we reviewed Boston College's 2011 home football attendance, noting that the Eagles' 35,709 per-game average was the lowest such average in Alumni Stadium's 18 seasons post-renovations. Students, fans and alumni are clearly frustrated with BC's ticketing policies, on-field product, coaching staff and gameday experience, and there's the very real possibility that attendance will continue its downward trend in 2012.
Despite the Eagles playing host to Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and Notre Dame in 2012, fans may very well vote with their wallets next season, choosing to stay home rather than pay outrageous prices for season tickets and parking passes when tickets can be had on the secondary market for pennies on the dollar.
The 2012 BC football schedule includes homes games against Notre Dame, Army and Maine in non-conference play, and ACC games against Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and Maryland. That schedule will remain constant and the only thing that will likely change that is if Pittsburgh and Syracuse can find a way into the ACC in time for the 2012 season. Frankly, that doesn't seem likely.
So just how bad is it going to get in 2012?
Here is a highly simplistic model to project 2012 attendance based on per-opponent historical averages (1994-present). Per-game averages were used as a baseline projection, with decreases of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 percent factored in.
A couple notes:
-- Gary Tranquill could be BC's head coach next season and the Eagles could limp into the home game against Notre Dame at 0-8. Still think that game sells out. Assuming that the Notre Dame home game will sell out for the eighth consecutive time, that boosts the total and per-game attendance figure in each projection.
-- For BC's game with Maine, the average home attendance against one of BC's nine I-AA opponents was used over BC's single home game against Maine in 2006 (41,162).
-- A 5 percent attendance decrease across the board would be the fifth lowest per-game attendance mark of the last 19 seasons (1997 and 2009-2011 are the others). A 10 percent decrease would be the fourth worst (1997, 2009, 2011).
-- A 15 percent reduction or worse would be the worst year in Alumni Stadium history (1994-).