A first: Avg. football attendance below 100,000

For the seven home games this year, average attendance is 98,805. That's down from 101,448 for last year, and the high of 107,595 during the 2005/06 season, according to figures provided to me by the UT sports information office.

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Comments » 116

GahLee writes:

Many factors in this...rain and some weak opponents, Halloween night and a new coaching regime that not everyone supports, also the rock slide may have contributed as well.

davethevol writes:

Don't forget the shabby economy. That definitely has played a role in this.

GahLee writes:

Also we have had a lot of night games, I love them but some of the older folks probably don't care too much for them.

Vol86 writes:

I have the feeling it bottomed out. Get ready for the upswing.

tennesseeike writes:

This is not a reflection on the team.There may be several factors which influence the drop in attendance...TV,night games(which I don't care for),weather conditions, and the economy among other reasons.
Don't forget there are less seats that in prior years.
I have managed to make all the home games this year but if the weather is cold and rainy for the Vandy game, I make take the TV route as I did for Ky last year.
We do not need to schedule night games after November 1st in the mountains of East Tennesee.
TV rules and that sucks.

Elkabong1940 writes:

Are the other schools experiencing a drop in attendance as well?

GahLee writes:

Indeed sir, for 2 people to go to a game will cost you at least 100? That's just for tickets, not to mention food and drinks which will run you at least another 20.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

I have enjoyed going to 3 games this year. I like it when it is easy to buy a ticket. DD is the place to be! Go Vols!

showmeyourTDs writes:

I've got an idea for Mike Hamilton....Let's raise ticket prices again next year. For a family of 4 it only cost about $240 to go to a game, plus parking, and maybe the kids would like a coke...add another $7.50.

tntorbett writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

vols21 writes:

where are most of the empty seats? The student section?

Vol86 writes:

Hey did anyone see the Fl. game last week. They kept showing fans and saying they were not happy. That figures.

UrbanCryer writes:

tommy west just announced that ut's attendance is pitiful(sarcasm intended). ok there are only 98805 compared to 101450. basically 2500 people. i travel to ut games. i usually go to about 3 home games a year. 2008-0 2007-1. not because of prices though.
ill say it befor the trolls. its because lil lane and his cronies stink.
SCARED lil trolls!!
GBO beat ole miss.

Madkels writes:

Most wrote this off as a rebuilding year and wanted to wait and see what this staff would do. After losing at home to UCLA, there wasn't much to get excited about. But that has now changed as the team is playing much better. Combine this with the economy, night games, TV, and price increases, it's easy to understand. but I'll bet with UF and BAMA coming to town in 2010, the average will be right back up there.

jmorri30 writes:

I don't think it is any sort of surprise that attendance is down. I would venture to bet these are the two major reasons:
1) Students no longer get free tickets and they have to choose which, if any, games they want to pay to see.
2) The economy has tanked and people are probably a little more conservative about spending for football games.

I have really been wanting to make it down for a game this year but I struggle to find the time and it's hard to pull the trigger on spending the money (tight times).

Go Vols!

Ooltewah_Vol writes:

You also have to remember with the stadium remodel they took out a few thousand seats.

orangevolz writes:

in response to vols21:

where are most of the empty seats? The student section?

Keep in mind that our seating capacity has been reduced with all the stadium upgrades. I read where our seating capacity is down to 100,011. If that is correct, we are still selling almost 99% of the seats.

DennisVols writes:

The attendance may be down, which I have to believe has more to do with the economy and unemployment than anything, but at least they aren't leaving the stadium booing and upset over another poor performance.
Throw in UT charging students, a game against Memphis which couldn't get 4,000 of their own fans at a home game let alone travel 350 miles, the USC game that had the interstate closed due to a rock slide. All are factors. The attandance is still more than most stadiums even hold.
I have been unemployed since March so I am also part of the reason attendance is down.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

mlfink#650868 writes:

HDTV and Parking

OldNumber7 writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, there were a lot of empty seats for UF-UT. Jacksonville can't fill their NFL games. It's a nation-wide economy issue. Several pro-teams are facing season-long blackouts from attendance; colleges are seeing the same issues.

volntx writes:

The schedule also contributed, no real big games at home hurt.
Also,give the students back their tickets,they already pay for them once in tuition,and that would put more fired up fans in the stands.

showmeyourTDs writes:

in response to volntx:

The schedule also contributed, no real big games at home hurt.
Also,give the students back their tickets,they already pay for them once in tuition,and that would put more fired up fans in the stands.

I agree.

Realist writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep, we sagged to just over 98,000 per game. But that is still 8,000 more than Florida per game!

Florida will get spanked by Bama in Atlanta. Then they will get spanked by a sub-par team in their bowl game. This of course only will happen if the referees allow them to get beat!

CDRKen writes:

in response to tntorbett:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is a football site. Your inanely ignorant opinions about our Commander in Chief have no place here.

GahLee writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your an idiot, the fact that your life's joy is stirring the pot on a UT site is totally and utterly disturbing.

At some point you gotta leave you parents house and try to be more than what you currently are...a troll.

The1 writes:

I think most of the reasons you all have given are valid. I used to live in Louisiana, though I am a TN native (back home now, thank goodness). But I'll have to say I really enjoyed games in Baton Rouge. There are three factors that discourage me from attending UT games:

Confrontational Police
Cars Towed Left and Right
Cramped Seating

I like the atmosphere of a college game, but I think I'll take a TV and generator and just watch the game from outside the stadium next time I go to a game in Knoxville. This way I can avoid the cramped seating and towed car. I'll still might have the confrontational cop to deal with, however.

GahLee writes:

in response to logansdad:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At the game. It will cost you a war pension to eat and drink on the strip, I was talking about a couple Smokey dogs and a couple Coke's

kkempf#226833 writes:

in response to orangevolz:

Keep in mind that our seating capacity has been reduced with all the stadium upgrades. I read where our seating capacity is down to 100,011. If that is correct, we are still selling almost 99% of the seats.

To actually answer your question: Yes. It's very clear when you watch on TV that the open seats are in the student section (especially the upper deck) and in the away team reserved seats (again, the upper deck). Both the students and the visiting fans are not showing up, and we're not selling off the excess.

showmeyourTDs writes:

in response to The1:

I think most of the reasons you all have given are valid. I used to live in Louisiana, though I am a TN native (back home now, thank goodness). But I'll have to say I really enjoyed games in Baton Rouge. There are three factors that discourage me from attending UT games:

Confrontational Police
Cars Towed Left and Right
Cramped Seating

I like the atmosphere of a college game, but I think I'll take a TV and generator and just watch the game from outside the stadium next time I go to a game in Knoxville. This way I can avoid the cramped seating and towed car. I'll still might have the confrontational cop to deal with, however.

Confrontational Police?

GahLee writes:

in response to mlfink#650868:

HDTV and Parking

Seriously? Parking?

You can park across from the Civic Center for 4 dollars and get shuttled to and from the game...parking is not an issue.

PennVol writes:

We had 101K last year for a 5-7 team which isn't too shabby. I think a lot of folks are chalking up this year to re-building and the costs of going to the games, parking, etc. are keeping folks away. Not to mention almost every game is on TV. We'll pack Neyland again when we're competing for championships. I certainly hope people aren't going because of CLK. Kiffin didn't fire Fulmer.

The1 writes:

in response to tntorbett:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As we age wisdom comes, for some. Since you talk about med school, I assume you are still young. Therefore, there is hope for wisdom in your future.

The1 writes:

in response to showmeyourTDs:

Confrontational Police?

I realize confrontational is relative. Also, I shouldn't generalize the actions of a few to cover the whole group.

The1 writes:

in response to nitwit30122:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have to admit that, except for the signs at the state lines, it is difficult to tell when one exits Al and enters GA or TN. I think characterizing Knoxville as more redneck than Tuscaloosa is a stretch, however.

williams61607 writes:

Well duh...they keep adding club seats each year so the current capacity is just at 100,000 so OF COURSE the average attendence is going to be below 100,000....can't be above it.

Idiot writers trying to blow something out of proportion.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You don't have to worry. The Gators will not be 9-0 next year, nor will they be SEC-E champions!! Take it to the bank, Lil Lane and Co. will take Cryer to the wood shed. GBO!!

GreerVol22 writes:

priorities change. Ask one of the marketing profs and he'll tell you. The shopper dynamic is one one of the hardest things to figure out this year. Looks at Sears, running a black Friday every week until Christmas. Look at the last 5 NASCAR races...20% empty. Restaurant business off 30%, homemade meals up 30%, movie tix down 20%, netFlix up 20%, on and on. Sign of the times guys and a lot of the "common folk" are just broke and or have family that have been affected and feel guilty for going. The ship will right itself if the product stays viable. Heck, even Wal-Mart sales are off 3% this year...explain that?

CrankE writes:

In the early 90's, under Dickey's watch, they narrowed the butt width on the bleacher seats and voila, increased capacity.

In the 1996 expansion, they installed backed seats, club seating, and such in lieu of bleachers which could have put the capacity around ~130k. Subsequent work has been along the same line; The money over the masses.

Money comes and goes though. What we're seeing now is a natural result of the business model that Hammy has chosen.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to tntorbett:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AMEN, brother....

CrankE writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How quickly you forget, Fireronzook.com was up and running before he ever coached his first game at UF. Get lost, Gatroll

DennisVols writes:

in response to DaMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know that if you actually knew half of what you think you know you would still be stupid.
You where right on one statement Fulmer did take us to a new level. That level being as low as it had been in decades. 2 losing season in 4 years, a loss to Wyoming, the only loss to Memphis, players being arrested or supended at a rate unheard of before this past decade, losses to conference rivals at a level unheard of in modern times of UT football. All of those under Fulmer's watch.
So go and try and swallow the truth for awhile and if you study really hard you might even learn some facts about football.
Keeping it Real
Go Vols!!!

jet writes:

When I played basketball in high school, we didn't have a very good winning record my Freshman year. I learned something I will never forget. We began whining about people not attending the games and supporting us. Our coach said, "All the people will be there to support you, win or tie". We lost one game my Senior year and went to the state finals. The gym was standing room in the concessions area only.

The Vol fan base is more loyal than most, but given the history of the last couple of years, I would say that attendance is pretty good considering. Many people have continued to support the Vols via TV, but have not been real eager to drive 5-6 hours and spend $400-$500 on a week-end to see a team that might play or might not.

Unemployment has doubled in TN in the past year and is above 10%. That has to impact it as well.
It is temporary. We are on our way again to another era where you won't be able to get a ticket. You can bet on it!!!!!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to GahLee:

Seriously? Parking?

You can park across from the Civic Center for 4 dollars and get shuttled to and from the game...parking is not an issue.

Agree with you adamlee. It is actually easier to get in and out on the shuttle. Parking is a non-factor unless you want to be within a couple of blocks to tailgate.

Several factors involved in this. Night games and on TV nearly every week now. Unless it is a big SEC game, many ticketholders stay home for the night games on TV. Some are able to sell their tickets, others don't. Ticket prices/related costs have gone up a bunch orver the last few years. Joe Fan is tapped out thanks to a bad economy. Even if you have the money, do you really have enough of it to toss out there for overpriced football games if you might need it for essentials at some point?

Volunatic writes:

The stated attendance last year differed greatly from the actual attendance.
Also, there have been no "visitor takeovers" at Neyland like last year's bama game, which was a disgrace.

CoverOrange writes:

Attendance is measured in tickets sold not butts in the seats.

Some season ticketers dropped their subscription when Fulmer was fired/Kiffin was hired.

The economy is keeping visitors from traveling and using their allotment (south upper deck).

Last minute ticket buyers (of visiting team returned tickets) are opting for HDTV instead of spending $100 to drive, park, eat, go to the game.

All the really big games have been on the road.

Voldom is sad that ADMH has given up on surpassing Michigan in stadium size.

lildhoss76ut#638162 writes:

If our stadium only seated 90,000 at full capacity like some other conference teams we would be turning fans away at the gate.The only explanation is the economy and some of the older fans not caring for the brashness of CLK dont worry trolls the Vols will be back at full capacity when we steamroll your teams in Neyland next year.GO VOLS!!!

chad_t31 writes:

Season ticket holders are paying more and more up front for their tickets. Take out a few thousand seats and financially the numbers are about the same. Hammy will eventually try to get more money out of season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, etc., and knock our capacity down to about 90k. As for opponents "taking over" neyland, it wouldn't happen if scalpers weren't able to get boxes full of tickets. I've never seen as many scalpers, with hundreds of tickets, on the strip like I have this year. The avg fan couldn't find a ticket if they wanted to unless they wanted to pay alot above face value.

jujuvolz writes:

There are about 8 of us that have traveled to EVERY game (home & away) for the last 18 years together. This year has been by far the hardest for us to do because of the economy. Plus the ticket prices are reaching the "out of site" level. It cost us no less than $500. per game (by the time you tailgate with food cost and all. We all live in Nashville,and even with spliting the cost, it is still expensive. The night games are also hard because of travel time to get back home. It's looking like we might not be able to make the away games next year, and that grieves me so much, because I love my VOLS and I love to watch them play in person. But it's looking like the TV will be in the mix next year. Here's still hoping the economy (or lottery) will be better. GO VOLS!! BEAT the REBELS!!!

NashvilleVolsincebirth writes:

in response to davethevol:

Don't forget the shabby economy. That definitely has played a role in this.

I can promise you if things don't get better overall we may see all sports venues lose ground. Now, if this UT edition were a perfect team and we were below max like now, then I would say something bad is happening or the economy was that something. I can't make it to any games this year due to financial reasons and living 200 miles away to boot. I go to the Titans games I can scoff from family members or don't go at all. Even though I and my wife HAVE A GOOD JOB,it is just that the cost of everything is going up, probably due to some basic failure to apply the securities rules fairly on Wall St from my armchair monday morning QB seat at the stock exchange.

Just to go see my son's team(soph Center/Ntackle)get pumelled because of the lack of many Sr's or Jr's in the TN 5A playoffs, it cost me 38$ in gas and tickets. I think the food at their local Arby's was bad too, lol, I am still recovering. That was just a HS game, the colleges and pro's are in trouble if there aren't enough people who have the cash to go to a game.

BarrysaysGOVOLS writes:

2643 is probably just the away teams that aren't traveling. I haven't been to an away game this year because of the economy.

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