There’s no question that there are more empty seats in Lane Stadium than there have been in years, but even with the decline in attendance, Virginia Tech still ranks among the ACC’s leaders in average attendance and percent of capacity filled.
With the regular season over, the official NCAA stats page lists the following figures for attendance among ACC schools – CLICK ON ANY COLUMN HEADING TO SORT BY THAT COLUMN:
There is no mention on the NCAA’s site about how attendance is calculated and reported, but, for example, if you have watched Miami play in Sun Life Stadium, you know there’s no way they averaged 53,837 fans per game, fourth-highest in the ACC. Their season-ending game with Virginia is listed as having attendance of 44,732. Uh … no.
Similar disparities exist in attendance figures reported throughout the conference. Most likely, each school reported tickets sold as attendance. Knowing that the numbers don’t necessarily reflect reality, it’s nonetheless interesting to look at them.
- Virginia Tech is fourth in cumulative attendance (almost 384,000), third in average attendance (63,999 – couldn’t one more person have shown up?!?), and second in percent capacity (97.5% full).
- Cumulative attendance: Clemson (563k+) and FSU (528k) are far ahead of #3 NC State (425k, by virtue of eight home games) and Virginia Tech (384k). Wake Forest, Duke, and Boston College were south of 200,000 total attendance.
- Average attendance: As noted above, no way did Miami average 53,587 fans. Only six of the 14 ACC teams came in over 50,000 fans per game, with Wake Forest (28,414) and Coastal champion Duke (a paltry 26,062) scraping bottom.
- Stadium capacity: With stadium capacities over 80,000, Clemson and FSU have the most potential to generate revenue, as shown by their huge lead in cumulative attendance. Miami is the only other stadium over 70k capacity (74,916), but that’s comparing apples and oranges, because Miami rents their stadium. VT is fourth in stadium capacity at 65,632, just a smidge ahead of Pittsburgh (65,000) — again, a rented/shared stadium.
- Percent capacity: Every ACC team reportedly came in over 70% capacity, but as noted above, Miami in particular couldn’t have averaged 71.9% capacity in actual attendance … last in the ACC, and way too optimistic at that. Five teams came in above 90%.
Digging down into the NCAA archives, which go back to 2008, here’s what we found for the Hokies:
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