USF home attendance lowest since 2006
Despite the excitement surrounding Skip Holtz's first season with the Bulls, USF's announced home attendance -- an average of 40,849 fans at seven home games -- dropped 22 percent from 2009, to the Bulls' lowest average since 2006.
USF's attendance peaked in 2007, the year the Bulls reached No. 2 in the national polls, with an announced average of 53,170 fans -- last year was comparable at 52,553, but without a marquee home game on the 2010 schedule, smaller crowds could have been anticipated.
USF fell from third to fifth in the Big East attendance rankings, and the Bulls' change in attendance was the worst in the conference. Four teams saw their attendance rise in 2010 (Louisville's grew 56 percent), and of the three other schools whose attendance dropped, none was by more than 6 percent.
In actual attendance, the Bulls averaged 29,955 fans, according to figures given by the Tampa Sports Authority. The biggest crowd of the season was the 32,890 that greeted Holtz for the season opener against I-AA Stony Brook -- Saturday's loss to Connecticut was the third-largest of the season with an actual attendance of 30,815, just under the Pittsburgh game's total of 30,999.
With a home game against Miami in 2010, a better I-AA opponent in Florida A&M and stronger league home games against West Virginia and Louisville, USF's attendance would be in position to rise in 2011, presuming the Bulls can have the same or greater success on the field in Holtz's second season.