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Boston College Football: Home Attendance Increases by Four Percent for 2014 Season

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Yay! Progress!

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According to CBSSports.com's Jon Solomon, who compiled every FBS team's year-over-year attendance for 2013 and 2014, Boston College football's home attendance increased four percent in 2014, up to 34,270 fans over seven home games. That figure bucks a national trend of declining attendance nationally. An average of 43,483 fans attended FBS games this fall, down four percent year-over-year and the lowest per-game average since 2000.

Boston College's 34,270 fans per game figure ranked 64th nationally and 12th in the ACC, ahead of only Duke and Wake Forest. Of course that makes sense when BC's Alumni Stadium ranks 12th (of 14) in terms of stadium capacity, ahead of, wait for it, Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium and Wake Forest's BB&T Field. In terms of Power Five programs, BC finished ahead of just four power five conference schools: Kansas, Washington State, Duke and Wake Forest. Again, no surprise when the program boasts the fifth smallest stadium by capacity out of the power five schools (ahead of Vanderbilt, Washington State, Duke and Wake Forest).

When benchmarking against itself, BC manages pretty well this year. The four percent increase in attendance year-over-year was the fifth best single-year attendance in the conference, behind only Florida State (9%), North Carolina (6%), Syracuse (6%) and Duke (5%). At the other end of the spectrum, Pittsburgh (-17%) and Virginia (-15%) both posted double digit year-over-year decreases.

In recent years, Boston College football attendance has followed a two-year cycle coinciding with an every-other-year-ish Notre Dame home game. The two-year period from 2013 and 2014 is the first without a Notre Dame home game since 2005-06 and one of the few two-year stretches since 1993 when BC hasn't hosted the Fighting Irish. That the program was able to post a gain this past year suggests that Addazio and Bates are slowly turning the tide in terms of winning over the fans that jumped off the bandwagon during the tail end of the Spaziani/DeFilippo era.

This season's home attendance was buoyed by games against Clemson (42,038) and USC (41,632), so next year will be a real test of the progress Addazio and Bates are truly making in terms of winning back the fan base (and that translating at the gate). While the new rotation is only a couple years old, the Florida State-N.C. State-Wake Forest-Virginia Tech cycle of ACC home games has been typically less well attended than the Clemson-Louisville-Syracuse-rando ACC Coastal one (mostly on the strength of Clemson's rabid traveling fan base, and the lack there of from schools like State and Wake Forest).

Without a marquee non-conference home game—a non-conference slate that includes NIU, New Mexico State or other rando non-P5 opponent and presumably an FCS opponent—a pretty blah slate of conference games and another Friday night affair (State? Wake again?), the program probably will struggle to post another year-over-year increase when the dust settles on the 2015 season.