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USF announces football attendance increase

The Bulls' average home crowds increased by more than 7,000 in 2018, the school says.
USF players greet fans after the game against UCF on Nov. 23, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
USF players greet fans after the game against UCF on Nov. 23, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Nov. 29, 2018

Despite its worst losing streak in five years, USF's 2018 team on average drew the program's largest home crowds since joining the American Athletic Conference.

The school announced Thursday an average home attendance of 38,517 for six home games this season, an increase of more than 7,000 from 2017.

The mark is USF's highest since 2012, when it averaged 44,120 fans for six home games in its final season of Big East play. That year also included the largest announced home crowd in school history (69,383), against No. 4 FSU.

Additionally, the school reported a student-attendance increase of 39 percent — to 7,797 — from 2017 to '18.

"The USF students are our No. 1 supporters and so critical to our overall success," USF vice-president of athletics Michael Kelly said in a school news release.

"I love seeing their engagement and support of all our programs and that they are enjoying the experience of cheering on the Bulls in competition and supporting their school with pride."

Bolstering this year's figure was an announced Raymond James Stadium crowd of 57,626 (including an announced student turnout of nearly 11,000) for Friday's "War on I-4″ contest between the Bulls and then-No. 8 UCF. By contrast, the 2017 home schedule featured no ranked opponent.

"It is incredibly meaningful to our student-athletes and coaches as well as to continuing the momentum of not only our football program, but USF Athletics overall," Kelly said.

"We are thankful to everyone who was a part of Bulls Nation in 2018, and came out and supported the Bulls and enjoyed one of the best game-day experiences in the country at RayJay."