Friday, October 30, 2015

Attendance of major programs in an NFL city

Average attendance this season- Metro population

Washington- 61,206- 3.5 million
Minnesota- 53,737- 3.5 million
California- 51,160- 4.5 million
Arizona State- 50,486- 4 million
Georgia Tech- 50,285- 5 million
Stanford- 49,474- 4.5 million
Miami- 48,261- 5.5 million
TCU- 47,139- 6.5 million
Pittsburgh- 46,085- 2.3 million
Maryland- 40,782- 8.5 million (in between Washington, DC and Baltimore)
Colorado- 39,571- 2.5 million
Cincinnati- 34,025- 2 million
Northwestern- 33,888- 9.5 million
Temple- 33,276- 6 million
Vanderbilt- 32,505- 1.7 million
Boston College- 31,382- 4.5 million
Houston- 30,313- 6 million
South Florida- 26,138- 2.8 million
San Diego State- 24,696- 3 million
SMU- 24,315- 6.5 million

One thing to note is that Pitt has hosted Youngstown State in 90 degree weather, Virginia, and North Carolina on a Thursday. After Notre Dame comes in, the average attendance will go up.

39 comments:

  1. Would love to see numbers posted at end of season Chris.

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  2. More important than attendance is finding some receivers for 2016 and fixing the run defense right now. Why are opposing RBs consistently gaining 7 or 8 yards before being touched? These defensive tackles are either worn down or just not getting the job done.

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    1. Because, to be kind, Pitt's linebackers are sub-par and slow. This is an area that Narduzzi needs to address fast. There's a reason why Whitehead leads the team in tackles most every week...

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  3. Pitt's attendance would not be much better with an on-campus facility. Some people don't remember or create their own myth that Pitt drew more in Oakland than at Heinz. Even with the best teams in the country there would still be many empty seats at Pitt stadium. The fact that the yellow seats make it look worse than it is is what it is.

    Pitt's support is very good among the NFL cities and might be the best. Another good measure is season ticket sales. I now live in DC area. Maryland has in past had season ticket sales that number 12,000. Pitt, even when the team was terrible with no expectations would still sell in mid-20,000. Coming off good seasons or with expectations Pitt has sold as many as 50,000. And this is with a metro area one-third the size of DC. Even when Maryland entered BIG 10 they only sold low 20,000. I don't know if anybody has ability to look at local radio and tv ratings but I would bet Pitt is among the leaders in this group too.

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  4. 45-50,000 is what Pitt should be getting with our alumni base and the varied options for sporting dollars in our city.

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  5. Attendance last night was better than I anticipated. To those watching on television
    at the start of the game it showed a lot of yellow. However it was a late arriving crowd. Most fans did not settle in until 5 minutes past kickoff.
    The student section who has been bashed for poor attendance was at capacity by end of q-1. They were energetic and led in cheers throughout the game and they stayed past sweet caroline.kudos to them.
    unfortunately the Syracuse hangover lingered and Pitt looked very tired. Perhaps all the travel caught up with them,perhaps being pushed beyond their talent level,maybe just been coached up all year and the thin ranks for replacements has caught up to the team. I am not a coach but I think that the longer rest before Notre Dame will benefit the entire team greatly.
    The coastal is still wide open just the road no longer runs through Pitt. I think we can still be a 9-3 or 8-4 team with the remaining schedule. We have a few bugs to work out.
    HCPN needs the crowds for the next three home games which will be on Saturdays..
    get out and enjoy the season as better things are coming
    H2P

    Gary from Cleveland

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  6. Attendance per capita is one of the best on the list.

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  7. Virginia was a Saturday game

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    1. I wrote Virgina, and then North Carolina on a Thursday. I didn't write that both were on a Thursday.

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  8. Thanx for this info. Has been a topic of discussion many times in my circles. So many different ways to spend money in a city, the local team don't always win out. Pitt I guess does ok.
    Frank

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  9. Very interesting.

    Just curious, why did you omit Tulane or Rice? The Terps? I suppose those programs are at least as "major" as SMU.

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  10. I've been to the YSU and Virginia games. I guess Chris is saying in the case of Virginia attendance was impacted by the opponent. That was an absolutely gorgeous day. I sat in a puddle of my own sweat for the YSU game - not very comfortable. There will be a big crowd for the ND game, myself included but that will include thousands of ND fans.

    As for last night's game. The line play on both sides of the ball was poor. NC was supposed to be poor against the run but you wouldn't know watching last night's game. I do think the Panthers had to go away from the run game too early. On the defensive side, things aren't as good as they appeared in earlier games. The line did little to stop the run and there was no pass rush. Some significant missed tackles again this game.

    I'll take 6 - 2 at this point and the future looks bright but the next couple of games are really going to determine how successful this season is. They're due for a really good game - maybe it comes next Saturday against the Irish.

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  11. Attendance comes with winning. Pittsburgh supports the winning teams. When Pitt wins, they get support. When they're not good, fans lose interest. This is the rule of thumb in all metro areas. Rough one for Chaney last night.

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  12. It was unfortunate that the pens also had a home game thursday night. How many fans did that keep out of Heinz? 500 or 5,000? I wish their could have been some better planning to avoid that situation.

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    1. No way the Pens would change that date for Pitt. As for ESPN? LMAO....

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    2. The Pen's attendance was severely affected by Pitt.

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  13. Great points Chris. Let's say at the outset the obvious - attendance doesn't give you any extra wins.
    In addition to size of metro area and availability of pro sport options for entertainment dollars (which I think mainly impacts casual fans), enrollment is a huge driver of attendance. Most core fans that go to games are students or alumni, and higher enrolment means more students and alumni. For example, PSU has 3x the number of students, 3x the number of alumni as Pitt, so you would expect they would have 3x the attendance.
    I was at the UNC game. I haven't seen the official figures but there were easily 40,000+ fans there (and relatively few UNC fans). That is equivalent to PSU getting around 130,000 for a midweek Thursday game versus an unranked opponent.

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    1. All schools count tickets sold so Pitt's standing on the list is still the same.

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  14. I'm surprised that Miami is at #7! It seems that their fans have been boycotting the games for the past 2-3 years. I guess that one or two home games vs UFA and/or FSU will raise their numbers.

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  15. The best barometer is not tickets sold although that is what apparently happens. Since they do scan tickets, it would be interesting if the university would provide the number of tickets sold and compare it to actual attendance. That may be another reasons the yellow seats are so striking to many. Is the average no show at 5%? 10%? Would be a more telling statistic to me as it goes to team effectiveness.

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  16. Curious Chris if you have total living alumni totals for Pitt and Psu..

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    1. It's tough to determine that exactly but Pitt is reported to have about 300k and PSU has over 600k.

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    2. Is it true Pitt had higher ratings than NFL, Pens game, and WVU on the same night?

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  17. Factor in that Pitt's student body is approx. 35,000 system wide and PSU is near 100,000 system wide, common sense would tell you to expect the number of alumni to grow wider as well. That's why its kind of really dumb to try and compare or even compete with PSU in attendance.

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    1. Also, PSU is the only game in town in the middle of nowhere. There's nothing else to compete with it for miles.

      Last Thursday, besides the Pitt game there was a Pens home game. In a city with a number of professional sports teams, there is competition for the entertainment dollar. At PSU, everything is focused on football.

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    2. Yeah, exactly. That's why this comparison is really good. It shows Pitt in relation to other urban schools where it need to compete for dollars. However, true PSU is only game in town, but I am sure many come from far away and not just state college. It's not like it has a huge population up there.

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    3. They are the large state university in the middle of the state. They draw from the entire state. Pitt is more of a local school in one corner of the state.

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    4. Also, for decades Pitt was mostly a commuter school with commuters never developing much, if any, school loyalty.

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    5. Do you honestly think that the only people that attend games at PSU live in Centre Co, PA? On any given game, PSU has fans that travel from NYC, Washington DC area, Philly, Pittsburgh, etc. Last time I checked, there was plenty to do in those areas.

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    6. PSU has 100,000 students in their system at any time. That is a lot of alumni.

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    7. Obviously PSU has fans that come in from out of town/state. I'd be willing to guess though that a very large chunk, if not a majority, live in Central PA.

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  18. Chris, I recommended this post on the blather & I want to thank you for publishing these numbers here. AGAIN. I personally believe that ADSB is working diligently to figure this stuff out. I believe he made significant improvements to student transport (which was priority #1 IMO) & I hope he sees the merit in covering some of the top tier seats (like in the covered end of the end zone & from 0-30's on the sidelines perhaps)? I have 3 major pet peeves about our fan base & 2 of them regard football. #1 Pitt Stadium was rarely filled (I spent the better part of my youth mooching from tailgaters at the syria mosque parking lots, they often gave my friends & I extra tickets - we kept them in our pockets as we slid past the ticket takers midway through the first quarter) #2 OCS - while all of our passionate pleas to build make sense to us, the arguments have lost against the financials. Real Estate in Oakland is at a premium & spending several hundred million dollars for a stadium has limited ROI period. We as a fan base should focus on the fact that we have a new and supportive admin to go along with a fire breathing head coach that will recruit to our Pro Stadium (& training facility). We have a world class university, a vibrant campus & we are the only program in the country where a kid can get in line at the cafeteria and say "Good afternoon Mr. Rooney"! H2P ptbreezeb

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  19. I am calling BS on Miami's attendance. No way are they close to that average.

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    1. I think Miami counts tickets sold not the actual number of fans that show up for the game.

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  20. Chris question for you what do you think of the offense and the offensive coordinator so far? and you think they have a chance against Notre Dame I think this is Kelly's best team he's had since he's been there. Thanks

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    1. I think Chaney is doing pretty well considering he has just one big time player on offense. And ND struggled against Virginia and Notre Dame so while they have a lot more talent than Pitt, the Panthers could still conceivably win.

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  21. Chris, after reading this article several times, I finally noticed no Rutgers. Why?

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