Last year, Boston College hosted FCS Villanova in front of 30,922, the smallest home opener attendance in more than two decades (1992 opener vs. Rutgers drew 29,110 pre-Alumni Stadium expansion). Considering both that the football program had bottomed out at 2-10 the year before, and the downward trend in home attendance vs. FCS opponents the past few years, this probably shouldn't have come as a surprise.
Since 2006, Boston College has faced a team from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) each season. While the Eagles are unbeaten in those eight games, attendance has lagged below the home average for FBS opponents.
2006: 41,162 vs. Maine (W 22-0)
2007: 44,111 vs. Massachusetts (W 24-14)
2008: 32,628 vs. Rhode Island (W 42-0)
2009: 33,262 vs. Northeastern (W 54-0)
2010: 34,168 vs. Weber State (W 38-20)
2011: 30,176 vs. Massachusetts (W 45-17)
2012: 30,685 vs. Maine (W 34-3)
2013: 30,922 vs. Villanova (W 24-14)
For the first few years of the annual FBS-FCS game, Boston College was scheduling this matchup over Parent's Weekend, since they have a relatively captive audience that wants to see the Eagles coast to victory then leave late in the third quarter to make their dinner reservation at
Vinny Testa's (RIP) wherever it is that you young kids take your parents to dinner these days.
Over the years, attendance for these FCS games has lagged well behind the team's per-game average, with BC hovering around the 30-32k mark. My feeling is fans have grown a bit weary of these guarantee games, there's a minimal boost from visiting fans and the price point is off (Athletics did run a $9 ticket special this week, but in my opinion, $9-$10 should be the price point for the FCS game from the beginning).
Last week, I guessed that last week's USC game would pull in 42,350. The announced attendance was 41,632, the best attended non-Notre Dame home game since the 2010 season. So ... pretty close. This week, my guess is the program will see a modest boost from last week's win over ninth-ranked USC. The forecast calls for perfect weather with a high of 73 degrees, so Mother Nature shouldn't throw salt in BC's game either. Call it 32,685, a modest 2k boost from last weekend's big win over the last Maine game attendance.