I was a bit surprised to read today that ASU had an increase of 11,064 attendees per home game, tops in the nation. The Sun Devils, picked to finish second in the PAC-12 South Division and showing off a new athletics logo and uniforms, rode excitement through the first 2/3rds of the season before falling apart in November, a month that ended with the firing of Dennis Erickson.
Arizona, on the hand, posted the steepest decline in the country at 6,455 per game. Not surprisingly given a ten-game losing streak against FBS opponents, attendance was down for the Wildcats, who fired their coach midway through the season.
Given the state of both programs, I’m still surprised to see ASU rank #1 in the country and to see UA fall to worst in the country. With two new coaches, Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez, in place at both programs, it will be interesting to see how these numbers change next season.
I’d expect, with the angst around ASU and lower expectations for next year coupled with Arizona being the only game in town, that we’ll see a flip in the attendance trends—but I doubt we’ll see ASU at the bottom and UA at the top.