The 2022 college football season was anything but ordinary. It was a new era with both Michigan and Georgia earning back-to-back playoff spots, Alabama falling short of their shot at a championship, and TCU making a trip to playoffs (the second Big 12 team in history). Among all of this, college football saw the second-highest attendance increase in history (five percent in the FBS).
In 2022, college football attendance rose for the first time in eight years. 2021 was a the second lowest in history for FSB attendance, with an average of 39,848 fans. With a five percent increase, the 2022 season saw an average of 41,840 fans per game. This is the largest increase since 1982, when numbers rose by over 9,000.
FBS football had its biggest attendance increase since 1982, second-biggest in history. That ended a streak of seven straight years (9 out of last 10) attendance decline. Here's why. https://t.co/XGQtEk9IQp
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) March 8, 2023
Attendance in the SEC
The SEC remains on top in average attendance in college football for the 24th consecutive year. In 2022, the conference saw its fifth largest figure in history (76,667). Six of the ten teams with the highest average attendance of 2022 are in the SEC. The Florida Gators are at No. 10, with an average of 87,180.
LSU, Tennessee and Texas recorded the highest attendances in the SEC for 2022, all averaging over 100,000 fans.
Vanderbilt (24.45%), Missouri (17.22%) and Tennessee (16.38%) saw the largest percent increase in numbers from 2021.
There are numerous possibilities as to why college football has seen an increase in attendance for the first time in eight years. One contributing factor could be the marketing behind the college game day experience. This includes the sale of alcohol in stadiums across the country. Tickets are also more convenient than ever with online purchasing and transferring capabilities. The most successful teams of the 2022 season also had some of the largest stadiums in the FBS. Michigan, Ohio State and Georgia are all in the top ten for largest stadium capacities.
Looking forward to 2023, college football fans wonder if attendance will continue to increase or will follow a similar trend as the past seven years.