Surveying Big East attendance in 2011

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
1:30
PM ET
Attendance numbers for all of college football in 2011 are in, and Sports Business Journal took a look at the numbers for the past three years. West Virginia once again leads the way for the Big East, which should come as little shock.

But there are some interesting notes I took away from these figures, which I present to you in order from best attendance to worst.

West Virginia
  • 2011: 56,532
  • 2010: 56,325
  • 2009: 57,317
Louisville
  • 2011: 48,538
  • 2010: 50,648
  • 2009: 32,450
Pittsburgh
  • 2011: 46,003
  • 2010: 52,165
  • 2009: 53,446
USF
  • 2011: 44,550
  • 2010: 40,849
  • 2009: 52,553
Rutgers
  • 2011: 43,761
  • 2010: 46,195
  • 2009: 49,113
Syracuse
  • 2011: 40,504
  • 2010: 40,064
  • 2009: 39,043
UConn
  • 2011: 36,668
  • 2010: 38,248
  • 2009: 38,229
Cincinnati
  • 2011: 32,293
  • 2010: 35,067
  • 2009: 33,957
Observations:
  • Leaguewide, attendance dipped an average of 3 percent from 2010 to 2011. Only one team increased its attendance numbers year-to-year in a significant way: USF was up 8.3 percent over 2010. That may have something to do with Miami and West Virginia playing at Raymond James Stadium. But going back to 2009, attendance is down 15.2 percent. Interesting to note Miami and West Virginia also played in Tampa that season.
  • Though Louisville saw its attendance dip 4.2 percent from 2010, the Cardinals have made the biggest gains in this three-year period. Charlie Strong has done a fabulous job turning around the program, but the Cardinals also are playing in a much bigger stadium, expanded to seat 55,000 in 2010. They have the largest attendance increase in the Big East since 2009, up 33 percent.
  • Pittsburgh and Rutgers are down in double-digits from 2009 -- the Panthers are down 13.9 percent; Rutgers is down 10.9 percent.
  • Despite playing two games in larger Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati saw its attendance drop 8 percent from 2010. Remember, Nippert Stadium is the smallest home field in the Big East.

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