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Boston College Football Season Opener Attendance Lowest Since At Least 1996

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It's probably worse than that

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BCEagles.com has historical box scores that include attendance dating back to 1997, which is as far back as Wikipedia's articles on BC's season go as well. Based on the available information, Saturday's season-opening crowd of 29,626 vs. Maine was the lowest for a BC opener since at least 1996. Seeing as the 1997 opener, coming off the gambling scandal, drew 39,200... it's fair to assume the streak of 30K+ home openers goes back for quite a while. This is in spite of an impressive turnout by the students, who packed their section (it remained packed for most of the game, too).

BC's home attendance increased in 2014 by 4%, bucking a national trend of attendance decline around college football, which saw a 4% decline and a dip to the lowest per-game level since 2000 around the country. However, 2015 is not off to a good start. Every factor you can think of made this a weak ticket: an FCS opponent (and one we just played last year); Labor Day weekend; skepticism about the team's chances this year; plus all the usual issues that people know well at this point.

It will be interesting to see if this is an indication that ticket sales are down across the board this year, or if it's just a matter of people not turning out for Maine. With an even less attractive opponent on tap for week 2, it's likely that average attendance will dip further going into the FSU game.

The attendance for this year's game against Maine was higher than last year's game against the same opponent; last year, BC vs. Maine drew 28,676 a week following the BC-USC game. In 2012, BC vs. Maine drew 30,685.

Recent Season Opener Attendance:

2015 vs. Maine: 29,626

2014 vs. Pitt: 30,083

2013 vs. Villanova: 30,922

2012 vs. Miami: 39,262

2011 vs. Northwestern: 37,561

2010 vs. Weber State: 34,168

2009 vs. Northeastern: 33,262

2008 vs. Georgia Tech: 40,106

2007 vs. Wake Forest: 42,292

2006 vs. Clemson: 44,500

2005 vs. Army: 40,166

2004 vs. Penn State: 44,500

2003 vs. Wake Forest: 42,563

2002 vs. UConn: 40,066

2001 vs. West Virginia: 42,482

2000 vs. Navy: 42,681