To mix things up, I thought I’d do a look-ahead to Georgia State’s August camp in a different format, A-to-Z:
I’ll continue to post one letter a day on the blog for the next 26 days:
Today is …
Empty (mostly) Georgia Dome
Georgia State has an average announced attendance of 15,006 last year, third-fewest in the Sun Belt behind Idaho and New Mexico State.
That average was boosted by the 28,427 fans who attended the game against Georgia Southern.
However, the season also featured two games that had the lowest actual (different than announced) attendance in Georgia State’s short history: 3,842 for New Mexico State and 3,485 for Texas State.
The actual attendance number really doesn’t matter because almost every sports organization uses announced attendance (tickets sold and given away regardless whether they are used) as their official total.
Are there any games this year that will rival those two sparsely attended games?
The opener against Charlotte might. It’s a Friday afternoon game going into Labor Day weekend. Troy could be another because it’s a Friday game the day after Thanksgiving.
The NCAA requires FBS teams average at least 15,000 fans in announced or actual attendance once in a two-year rolling window. Georgia State met that minimum last year, so while I assume they would want it to hit it again this year as a sign of increasing interest in the program, it won’t be required.
Unless the team is riding a strong win streak, it seems almost a certainty that there won’t be any games that will reach the attendance of the Georgia Southern game.
It underscores one of the many reasons that President Mark Becker and the university’s partners want to develop the Turner Field property, which would include turning the Braves’ home into a football stadium that will have a much more intimate feel than the Dome.