College Sports

MAC football attendance dropped more than 1,300 fans per game in 2014

Monica Synett - msynett@shawmedia.com Northern Illinois cornerback Albert Smalls celebrates an incomplete pass by Toledo on a fourth down in the second quarter on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The Huskies are up 13-10 at half.
Monica Synett - msynett@shawmedia.com Northern Illinois cornerback Albert Smalls celebrates an incomplete pass by Toledo on a fourth down in the second quarter on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The Huskies are up 13-10 at half.

When the NCAA posted its 2014 college football attendance numbers, two of the teams with the biggest dropoffs from 2013 came from the Mid-American Conference.

Northern Illinois saw a drop of more than 7,000 fans per game from 2013 to 2014 while Akron dropped by more than 8,500 fans from 17,850 to 9,170.

The MAC as a whole again ranked 10th out of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences in home attendance with an average of 15,431 fans per game, more than 1,300 less fans per game than in 2013.

One thing to notice in the data is the fluctuations in numbers, partially due to when games fall and what opponents are on the conference schedule.

NIU hosted Eastern Illinois (23,595), Akron (23,595) and Eastern Michigan (20,185) in Saturday home games in 2013 with later season midweek games against Ball State (18,290) and Western Michigan (17,679).

In 2014, the Huskies hosted Kent State (15,620), Central Michigan (20,122) and Miami (Ohio) (11,211) in consecutive October home Saturday games after playing Presbyterian (12,398) to start the season on a Thursday and hosting Toledo (8,462) on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

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