Rutgers has lowest attendance numbers since 2005 at Saturday's football game
For Rutgers’ 42-7 loss to fellow Big Ten Conference member Minnesota, the Scarlet Knights garnered their lowest attendance numbers for a home game since 2005, when they played West Virginia in the pouring rain, according to an article on NJ Advance Media.
With 26,429 fans in attendance this past Saturday, according to the University’s official numbers, the average number of fans walking into SHI Stadium this year has dropped to 32,336 fans per game, the lowest in the Big Ten Conference, according to the article.
Ranking second-to-last is Illinois with 36,803 and third-to-last is Maryland with an average of 39,827 fans per game, according to the article.
Not only was Saturday’s game the least attended in approximately 14 years, but Rutgers has been found to overestimate its attendance numbers in the past.
For last year’s homecoming, the University announced an attendance of 32,514, despite an Open Public Records Act request showing the number of fans counted on their way was 16,096, according to the article.
The number of season tickets sold this season has been the lowest since Rutgers entered the Big Ten Conference in 2012, with the University selling approximately 16,585 season tickets this season, according to the article.
"These guys are playing hard,'' said Rutgers interim head football coach Nunzio Campanile, according to the article. "There are some spots where we just struggle to match up. I mean, it’s just the truth. So I don’t fault our kids’ efforts at all. I think that they’re doing the best they can, I think that we have some guys that are in spots that they’re not entirely ready for, but there are a lot of guys that are still fighting and staying together.”
The low attendance numbers come during a season that has introduced beer and wine sales and new concessions to the stadium this year. The Daily Targum reported earlier this semester that the new options for fans were estimated to bring in an additional $500,000 to the Rutgers Athletics program this year.
“We’re showing the world that we intend to compete with world-class facilities and world-class programs,” said Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs. “Two words that will define us going forward are 'world-class.'”
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