UCLA football attendance up 21%

Fans, pat yourselves on the back. The Rose Bowl was packed this fall.

UCLA football saw the second-largest attendance increase among all FBS programs, up an astounding 21 percent from 2011. Only TCU bettered that figure. (Cal led the country with a 48-percent jump, but that’s skewed by the reopening of Memorial Stadium after spending last season off-campus.)

Impressive jump, especially considering that overall FBS attendance dipped to its lowest since 2003. (All stats from the Press-Register, which in turn analyzed official numbers from the NCAA.)

The Pac-12 was the only BCS conference that saw an attendance increase.

Here’s the entire conference:
Cal (3-9, 2-7) – 55,876 – +48%*
UCLA (9-4, 6-3) – 68,481 – +21%
USC (7-5, 5-4) – 87,945 – +18%
WSU (3-9, 1-8) – 30,252 – +5%
OSU (9-3, 6-3) – 43,424 – +2%
Utah (5-7, 3-6) – 45,347 – minor increase
Arizona (7-5, 4-5) – 47,931 – -2%
Oregon (11-1, 8-1) – 57,490 – -3%
ASU (7-5, 5-4) – 56,835 – -4%
Washington (7-5, 5-4) – 58,617 – -6%
Colorado (1-11, 1-8) – 45,373 – -10%
Stanford (11-2, 8-1) – 43,343 – -13%
*Cal moved back to Memorial Stadium after playing last season at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

While UCLA’s increase can be credited largely to the Jim Mora turnaround, USC wasn’t far behind despite one of its most underachieving seasons in a decade. I suppose there was still the draw of having a postseason. Both schools also obviously benefited from playing in the second-largest city in the country.

Hard to find many other patterns. Oregon State improved about as much as the Bruins, but saw a very modest increase. Oregon is heading to its fourth straight BCS bowl, but saw a very modest decrease. And at the bottom, you have the conference champion right next to its last-place finisher. Looks like Andrew Luck was worth an extra 7,000 seats.

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  • Tagus

    Packed? Maybe you didn’t go to the Rose Bowl? An average attendance of 68,481 means that with a capacity of 92,542 there was an average of 24,061 empty seats. That’s a LOT of empty seats. There’s a long way to go.

    We’re not idiots so please don’t patronize us with “Pat yourselves on the back” statements. It’s horrible journalism. It’s like telling a first grader “good job” when they strike out looking.

    • Reformed Droog

      Jack, I doubt that Colin Quinn has “Tough Crowd” trademarked if you wanted to rename the blog…

    • facescar

      Having gone to quite a few of the games (Arizona, Utah, USC), the stadium LOOKED packed for the important ones. That’s all that mattered. Looked exponentially better than last year.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Compared to the past few years, it was obviously a more energized and well-attended Rose Bowl, that is for sure. While not always “packed,” it was an improvement which should continue into next year.