A Look at Gopher Football Attendance

I decided to take a look at how the Gophers Football program is doing from an attendance perspective these days. Here’s a look at the annual attendance averages for each season in their new stadium. I’ve averaged the first 6 games of 2012. The data can be found here.

Annual Attendance at New Gophers Stadium

They sold out every game the first year and have been steadily sliding since then.

Here is how many seats went unsold on a game by game basis since 2009:

Unsold Seats at Gopher Football Games

Put those two together and you can see the trend a bit more clearly:

Sold to Unsold Seats by Year Gophers Football

Interestingly, here’s a look at the attendance of the last four seasons of Gopher Football at the Metrodome vs the first four at the new Gopher stadium.

Metrodome vs New Gopher Stadium Attendance

The past two Gopher Football seasons have had a lower draw than all four of the final seasons at the Metrodome. In fact, two of the final three seasons at the Metrodome had a higher draw than the new Gopher stadium ever will since they drew more than the new stadium’s capacity.

One thought on “A Look at Gopher Football Attendance”

  1. I went to my first Gophers football game this year. I was quite impressed with the stadium, and I used Nice Ride bikes to avoid parking fees (blog post on that forthcoming).

    Here’s the ironic reason why I went, though. I had purchased rather expensive seats to the NHL’s Winter Classic game to be played at the University of Michigan football stadium. With that game cancelled for the 2012-13 NHL season (that looks more and more unlikely to even happen), my tickets were refunded. I also would not be spending a few hundred on air fare, and much more on Detroit night life during a now-cancelled vacation.

    So I had a few extra bucks that were originally set aside for sports entertainment, and I decided to spend them on a game that at least somewhat involved what I wanted to spend the money on. I watched my Wolverines take apart the Gophers, from some rather nice seats seven rows back at the 50-yard line.

    This just adds to your overall argument, Ed, of how entertainment dollars are spent. If we get a major sporting event like a Super Bowl in Minneapolis, we’d better hope it doesn’t come during a year when the owners and players have to hammer out their differences. Because folks like us on the ground don’t matter one lick at that point.

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