Eastern Michigan University athletic department touts gain in attendance at football games
Eastern Michigan University’s football team drew more fans to its home games this year than last year, athletic administrators said today.
But more importantly, the university topped the magic 15,000-paid fan barrier.
The NCAA requires Division I institutions to average 15,000 fans a season over the course of a rolling two-season period.
In the 2009 football season, the team drew 14,940 fans, documents given to the Board of Regents show.
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
In the 2010 football season, that number was up 17 percent to 17,492, the same documents show.
That number reflects the actual paid attendance, Ted Coutilish, EMU’s associate vice president of university marketing and communication, told the regents.
The 2010 season saw a total of 32,004 people come to the five home games, according to the records. That counts free tickets and anyone entering.
The largest game in the 2010 season, in terms of paid attendance, was the Army game with 7,250 fans paying. The lowest drawing game was the day after Thanksgiving, when only 958 fans paid to come to the game.
Regents said they were happy with the results, but wondered whether more fans would turn out if the team was winning.
Coutilish said when the athletic department did market research, several people told them “they wanted us to win before they came here for a game.”
David Jesse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734-623-2534.