For the second straight year, despite constant criticism to the contrary, average attendance for Penn State football games was ranked the fifth highest in the nation.
The team averaged 96,587 fans at home this year, which is slightly down from 2012, when 96,730 on average came to see the team play. It’s not completely rosy for the athletic department, though; just five years ago, Penn State was averaging 108,917 fans per game.
Penn State ranks behind Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, and Texas in terms of average attendance, although it is worth mentioning that Penn State had the smallest drop in average fans per game from 2012 to 2013 in that group. Of the top five schools, only Michigan and Texas have home games left on its schedules.
“I can’t say enough about the tremendous support by Penn State fans for our team throughout the year and especially on those Saturdays when we get to play in Beaver Stadium, the best stadium in college football,” Bill O’Brien said. “The fans and the energy and passion they bring mean so much to the players and our program. We have the best student body in the nation, including Nittanyville, and our players love working hard every week during the season to play well for the fans and their teammates.”
If anything, this puts some of the attendance sorrows into perspective. Aside from the Michigan game this year, the upper deck was splattered with empty seats — including entire sections — and the student section never really reached capacity (although those seats are all counted). Despite that, Penn State still has the fifth highest live attendance in the country out of 124 FBS teams.
We still Are indeed.