If your football program suffered a drop in attendance in 2017, you’re not alone. The 3,695 games from FBS to Division III in 2017 saw a drop of nearly 1.7 million fans from 2016 according to data released by the NCAA on Tuesday, an average fall of 380 fans per game, or 2.86 percent from one year ago.

FBS saw its largest year-over-year drop in 35 years, losing an average of 1,409 spectators down to an average of 42,203 fans per game, the lowest average attendance since 1997. Even the mighty SEC was down, falling 3.14 percent to 75,074 fans per game. FCS suffered the lowest relative drop, falling just 1.6 percent to an average attendance of 8,223 across 670 total games.

Division II saw a 5.38 percent drop to 3,273 fans per game, and Division III witnessed a 4.15 percent fall an 1,873 average attendance.

The trend is part of an overall societal shift away from communal experiences and toward social media, Netflix and the like. College football attendance was down, but not as much as NFL viewership, which suffered a much smaller drop than overall network TV broadcasting. Viewership for the Grammys, for instance, fell 24 percent from 2017 to 2018.

That said, just because it was a down year for college football as a whole doesn’t mean that certain program’s shouldn’t celebrate.

FBS 
1. Michigan — 111,589 average attendance
2. Ohio State — 107,495
3. Penn State — 106,707
4. Alabama — 101,722
5. Texas A&M — 98,802

FBS Biggest Gainers
1. Purdue — 13,433 jump per game
2. Akron — 9,232
3. Florida Atlantic — 8,875
4. New Mexico State — 8,694
5. Penn State — 6,450

FCS
1. Montana — 23,535
2. James Madison — 21,724
3. Florida A&M — 19,048
4. Yale — 18,940
5. Montana State — 18,617

Division II
1. Tuskegee (Ala.) — 14,998
2. Grand Valley State (Mich.) — 13,432
3. Morehouse (Ga.) — 10,100
4. Fort Valley State (Ga.) — 9,572
5. Texas A&M-Commerce — 8,580

Division III
1. St. Thomas (Minn.) — 7,478
2. Saint John’s (Minn.) — 6,092
3. Emory & Henry (Va.) — 4,786
4. Geneva (Pa.) — 4,467
5. Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) — 4,429

SHARE
National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.