Saturday, January 15, 2011
According to statistics released by the NCAA, Georgia Tech in 2010 posted its lowest average per game attendance since stadium capacity was increased to 55,000 prior to the 2003 season. The 2010 figure of 46,449 ranked 50th among 120 FBS teams. Tech was also 58th nationally in percent of capacity, at 84.45%. It is interesting to note that Tech's 2008 and 2010 seasons under Johnson are two of the three lowest in average attendance since the 2003 expansion.
Georgia Tech football attendance figures since 2003:
Likewise, Independence Bowl attendance and television ratings were down for the 2010 season. While the 2009 edition of the game attracted 49,653 fans, the 2010 version drew only 39,362, a 21% decrease year-on-year. This despite an aggressive campaign by Georgia Tech to push steeply-discounted $14 tickets to the event.
In fact this year's I-Bowl was the lowest-attended since Mississippi State and Texas A&M met in a blizzard in 2000. If you were to discount that total because of inclement weather, you would need go back to the 1994 game between Virginia and TCU to find an emptier Independence Stadium.
The malaise was neither limited to the fans in-person. The 2010 I-Bowl sputtered to a 1.4 rating with 2.234 million viewers on ESPN2, a 30% and 32% decrease respectively from 2009(2.0, 3.276 mil).