Can USF spring game crowd rise again?
This is my sixth spring football game in covering USF for the Times, and the Bulls have an impressive streak going, with attendance growing every year since 2005.
That goes clear back to the spring before USF's debut in the Big East -- the 2005 game drew an announced 3,800, though we thought the actual crowd looked much smaller. The 2006 game drew an announced 3,862 to Raymond James Stadium. That figure jumped up to 4,310 in 2007, then 4,607 in 2008.
How many were at last year's game? There's no official number -- I wrote it as "nearly 6,000" from USF estimates, but the Tribune wrote it as "nearly 5,000," and the Sentinel estimated it at 5,000. The excitement over the hiring of Skip Holtz should account for a little spike, and it looks like the game should have good weather -- just a 10 percent chance of rain -- but I'd think any increase in the attendance is continuing the growing interest for USF football.
We'll have tons of notes tonight -- it's hard to do much during the game because we're down on the field. I'll likely have updates on our Twitter page during the game as well.