Boise State not alone in college football’s attendance woes

It is no secret that Boise State is seeking ways to remedy its football attendance problems, but it is not an issue that only the Broncos face.

The NCAA released its attendance statistics for the 2017 season, and the average Football Bowl Subdivision game saw a drop of 1,409 fans per game (down 3.23 percent from 2016), the biggest drop-off since 1983, according to CBS Sports.

Boise State’s average attendance of 31,126 was down 3,147 from the 2016 season, a 9.2 percent decrease. Even taking out the Mountain West championship and the crowd of 24,515, the regular-season average was down about 2,000 fans per game at Albertsons Stadium.

The Mountain West was one of just two conferences, including the Big Ten, that saw an average increase in attendance, and the MW uptick of 832 fans per game was the most in FBS. Fresno State, Colorado State, San Diego State and Utah State were in the top 30 in increased attendance.

As schools try to find ways to increase ticket sales, which help fund the athletic department, there are also growing reasons to keep people away, be it an improved broadcast experience, ticket prices (it’s free to stay home), weather, kickoff times and other family obligations.

“Football ticket sales plays a huge role. It supports more than just football,” Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in October. “When you’re down in that area, it affects everybody.

“I’m concerned about it, no doubt about that.”

BSU average attendance since 2012

2012: 35,404 (+4.1 percent from previous year)

2013: 34,366 (-2.9 percent)

2014: 33,571 (-2.3 percent)

2015: 33,612 (+0.1 percent)

2016: 34,273 (+2.0 percent)

2017: 31,126 (-9.2 percent)

2012: 45,440 (-1.38 percent)

2013: 45,671 (+0.05 percent)

2014: 44,603 (-2.33 percent)

2015: 43,933 (-1.5 percent)

2016: 43,612 (-0.07 percent)

2017: 42,203 (-3.23 percent)

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