Michigan leads nation in football attendance again
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michigan was the national leader in college football attendance for the 15th straight year, and the Southeastern Conference went over 7 million in total attendance for the first time after expanding from 12 to 14 teams.
The NCAA said Thursday that almost 49 million fans attended games in all divisions in 2012-13. More than 37 million fans attended Football Bowl Subdivision games, where the average was 45,440 a game.
Michigan averaged a record 112,252 fans for six home games. The Wolverines broke the record of 112,179 they set over eight home games in 2011.
Three other teams averaged in six figures — Ohio State (105,330), Alabama (101,722) and Texas (100,884).
The SEC was the top-drawing conference for the 15th year in a row, with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M helping the league total 7.48 million fans and average 75,538 a game.
The Big Ten (70,040), Big 12 (59,004), Pac-12 (53,679) and Atlantic Coast (49,910) rounded out the top five in conference average attendance.
Attendance of 48.96 million for all divisions was the third-highest total in history and included home games, neutral-site games and postseason contests. The record of 49.70 million was set in 2011.
The Football Bowl Subdivision postseason featured 35 bowl games that averaged 49,224. Appalachian State led FCS attendance for the fifth time in six years with an average of 26,358 fans.
Grand Valley State led Division II for the second straight year, with 12,034 fans, and St. John’s (Minn.) led Division III with 7,948.