Wisconsin Football: Ticket usage rises in 2016

Overall ticket usage increased this season, thanks in large part to Mother Nature.

In a season where many predicted the Wisconsin Badgers football team to have a down year, ticket usage increased ten percent, thanks to a bit of luck paired with an exciting journey to an almost-Big Ten title.

In comparison to 2015, the Badgers welcomed more popular opponents into Camp Randall this season, hosting two top ten teams in Ohio State and Nebraska, along with arch-rival Minnesota. Last year, Wisconsin’s conference home games were against Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, and Maryland.

Wisconsin only had just one night game last season, a non-conference beatdown of Hawaii before Big Ten play was underway. Popular opinion states that night games usually indicate a higher magnitude of game, attracting more attention and excitement. Having the only night game of the season being a non-conference game against a non-power five conference team served as a bit of a letdown.

This season, the university reported an average paid attendance of 79,357 for its six home games in 2016 (Akron, Georgia State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota). Numbers show just an average of 69,052 in attendance, based on counts of tickets scanned when fans entered the stadium. For instance, the Badgers’ Halloween Weekend game against Nebraska had a reported attendance of 80,833. Only 72,296 tickets were scanned on entry. Also note that Camp Randall’s capacity is under that announced mark, holding an unofficial 80,321 persons. The ~69 thousand average was the team’s highest in the last five years and marked a ten percent increase from last season.

These numbers differ from a recent report done by CBS Sports, which ranked the Badger No. 16 in the nation in attendance for the 2016 season, which used the average of paid attendance at around 79 thousand rather than the official tickets scanned number.  Wisconsin was ranked fifth in the Big Ten on this list, which holds some of the NCAA’s largest football stadiums, but filled 99 percent of its stadium on the year.

Wisconsin also has Mother Nature to thank for their large attendance numbers this season, as no major rain or snow storms took to Camp Randall during any of their games, making it more attractive to go to the game. Two years ago, during Melvin Gordon’s record-breaking game versus Nebraska, a snow storm hit just after halftime, while last year the Badgers only home game against a ranked team (Northwestern) happened just after a huge storm concluded.

Well done, Badgers fans on another supportive year!

This article originally appeared on