Penn State sees second-largest attendance growth among Power 5 teams

Winning the Big Ten title in 2016 had an impact on the number of empty seats in Beaver Stadium in 2017. Penn State had the nation’s fifth-largest attendance increase between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, according to numbers released by the NCAA on Tuesday.

The Nittany Lions averaged 106,707 fans at their seven home games in 2017, which was the third-highest mark in the nation. Penn State trailed only Big Ten East foes Michigan (111,589) and Ohio State (107,495) in that department.

The program saw a 6,540-fan increase per home game in the 2017 campaign. Only Purdue had a bigger attendance increase among Power 5 programs. Here are the top five teams in that category:

Largest home attendance growth among FBS teams in 2017

  1. Purdue – 13,433
  2. Akron – 9,232
  3. Florida Atlantic – 8,875
  4. New Mexico St. – 8,694
  5. Penn State – 6,450

The increase in attendance at Beaver Stadium (which has a listed capacity of 106,572) is not much of a surprise. The Nittany Lions struggled during the 2014 and 2015 seasons as attendance dwindled in the cavernous stadium. But the program has averaged 105,784 fans per home game dating back to a 2016 win over Ohio State that turned around James Franklin’s tenure.

Penn State did not disappoint the home crowd last season, either. For the second year in a row, the Nittany Lions finished with an unblemished record in Happy Valley.

The post Penn State sees second-largest attendance growth among Power 5 teams appeared first on Land of 10.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.