Boston College football saw 198,035 fans come through the Alumni Stadium gates over the six home games of 2013, according to data released by the NCAA. That's an average of 33,006 per game in a stadium with a "listed" capacity of 44,500, or 74.2 percent filled to capacity.
The 33,006 per game average is down from last year's 37,020 average, though attendance has historically followed a two-year cycle (with a guaranteed Notre Dame home sellout every other year boosting that year's figure). During the 2011 season, the program averaged 35,709 per game, putting this year's 33,006 figure in a bit more context.
While college football attendance numbers are struggling nationally, my sense is Boston College struggled in particular given a front-loaded nature of the home schedule (four of the six home games were over by October 5) coming off a listless 2-10 season. Further compounding things is the fact that Andre Williams' Heisman Trophy hype really only took off after all of BC's home games were completed. Having just six home games and the lack of a guaranteed sellout game (read: Notre Dame) also likely contributed to the attendance dip.
The Eagles once again have a front-loaded home schedule in 2014. Four of the first five games of the season are at home and the fifth, the season opener at Gillette Stadium, should have a very pro-BC crowd in attendance (though it obviously won't go towards BC's total). That said, the USC home game should adequately test the "Can BC sell out a home game against a team NOT named Notre Dame?" hypothesis -- I believe that game will sell out -- and the rest of the schedule sets up nicely, with some strong attendance draws coming to the Heights during the second half of the year (Clemson, Louisville and Syracuse). The extra home game, BC's first seven game home schedule in four seasons, will also help matters.
Overall, FBS teams drew 35,340,049 fans in 2013. That's up 1,028,023 from last year, though there were 19 extra games and three additional FBS programs. Per game attendance rose slightly to 45,192 fans a game, though neutral site attendance and bowl attendance totals both fell. Shocking, I know.
From the ACC, only Miami filled its stadium to a lower percent capacity (70.4% of Sun Life Stadium's 76,500 capacity) than Boston College (74.2%). Clemson filled Memorial Stadium to 100.7 percent capacity. Overachievers.
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