2015-16 BOWL GAME ATTENDANCE SHOWS INCREASE; EXPECTED COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONSHIP SELLOUT INCLUDED IN BEST BOWL SEASON SINCE 2011-12
With 40 of a record 41 college football bowl games having been played, in-stadium attendance for the 2015-16 season showed an increase over last year
Counting the expected 71,000-plus to attend next Monday’s sold-out College Football Playoff championship game between #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama, 1,791,733 fans will have attended bowl games this year. Seventy-seven percent of all stadium seating was utilized. The aggregate total is the best since 2011-12.
The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual led the way with 94,268 patrons watching Stanford defeat Iowa, 45-16.
Seven contests [to include the CFP title game] will have attracted more than 71,000 spectators. The six games already played included the Rose; Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic [82,812/Alabama 38, Michigan State 0]; Allstate Sugar Bowl [72,117/Mississippi 48, Oklahoma State 20]; AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl [71,307/LSU 56, Texas Tech 27]; Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl [71,123/Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28]; and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl [71,007/Houston 38, Florida State 24].
In all, 14 games attracted capacity or over-capacity attendances and 23 games showed increases in attendance over the past year.
Two new bowl games, the AutoNation Cure Bowl and Arizona Bowl, had total attendance of 38,955.
Overall television ratings for the 41 games will be available following the College Football Playoff national championship game.
The overall increase of 22,524 from 2014-15 reveals continued growth from the 2008-09 recession that affected most if not all sporting ventures in terms of stadium attendance. Incremental increases since then have been steady and the trend is expected to continue to skew upward in years to come.
“Attendance and television ratings are certainly an important measure of the success of a bowl game,” said 2015-16 Football Bowl Association chair Bruce Binkowski, a 38-year veteran of the college football bowl industry.
“However, there are other very important factors as well.
“A memorable experience for the student-athletes and their fans is a goal associated with everyone associated with bowl games. For many of the players, it is the biggest game of their college careers, and for the majority of seniors, it is the final game they will play.
“Bowl games also create a positive economic impact on and for the communities which host games, yet another way of evaluating overall success.”
Director of Communications
FOOTBALL BOWL ASSOCIATION