CBS rolled out an interesting look at attendance numbers in college football this past season. The data did not use any analysis from neutral-site games, so it’s not a full picture of college football attendance. However, the numbers do tell an interesting story.
The bad news is that college football at home games declined for the fifth straight season. The average attendance at FBS games dropped one percent from 43,438 in 2014 down to 43,288 in 2015.
Michigan topped all programs in average attendance in 2015 with 110,168 – an increase of 5% from last season. The Wolverines were followed by Ohio State, Texas A&M, Alabama, and Tennessee in the 100,000 plus average attendees club.
The top ten included six SEC programs (Texas A&M, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, and Georgia), three Big Ten programs (Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State), and one Big 12 school (Texas).
The honor of biggest percentage of fans gained this season belongs to Akron, where attendance exploded 97% to an average attendance of of 18,098. Not far behind was Temple, where attendance grew 89% to 44,159.
The biggest loser? Eastern Michigan who saw attendance drop -67% with an average 2015 attendance of just 4,897. The Eagles are joined by Ball State, Georgia State, UMass, Idaho, and ULM as programs who didn’t average 12,000 fans.
In related news, Division II Grand Valley State led the entire country in attendance at the Division II level with over twice as many fans attending games (12,365) as their FBS neighbor Eastern Michigan.