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Is Anybody There?

Checking up on B1G (and newly-B1G) attendance in 2013.

Leon Halip

Just taking from this ESPN article, this Baltimore Sun article, and this article, how did each B1G team fare in terms of putting butts in the seats in 2013? As a note, I took those articles at their word for averages, and lazily used Wikipedia for the capacity of each stadium. If I'm terribly off somewhere, please correct me in the comments.

Team 2013 Avg Capacity % Full
Illinois 43787 60670 72.2%
Indiana 44353 52959 83.7%
Iowa 67125 70585 95.1%
Maryland 41278 51802 79.7%
Michigan 111592 109900 101.5%
Michigan State 72328 75005 96.4%
Minnesota 47797 50805 94.1%
Nebraska 90933 91145 99.8%
Northwestern 39307 49256 79.8%
Ohio State 104933 102329 102.5%
Penn State 96857 106572 90.9%
Purdue 48593 62500 77.7%
Rutgers 46549 52454 88.7%
Wisconsin 78911 80321 98.2%


  • As TFFL noted, only Minnesota, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Purdue increased their attendance. Northwestern's is obviously the usual Michigan/Ohio State sellout, and Nebraska's is due to a stadium expansion. But Purdue? Maybe it's the Ohio State game. Must be. Minnesota is the only one of these where legitimate excitement likely contributed to the increase in attendance.
  • Michigan State, as ESPN noted, declined in 2013 attendance during their Rose Bowl campaign. Perhaps the fans aren't as elite as the defense...or maybe Shilique Calhoun tackled half the students who tried to enter. Or perhaps I'm missing something.
  • In terms of percentage of the stadium filled, Illinois lags behind the rest of the conference. The Tim Beckman-izing will do that to you, I'd assume.
  • Maryland looks like it could use a boost from Ohio State and Iowa taking over visiting and being polite guests in 2014, as its percentage full falls even behind Northwestern's (if barely) but above Purdue's.
  • As Indiana improves marginally, it will be interesting to see if fan attendance follows. They had the slightest (449 fans) of decreases in 2013, and an exciting team should be edging them back toward 50K.
There you have it--not a banner year for plenty of Big Ten schools, but plenty of room for improvement, excitement (Franklin at PSU), and intrigue (Maryland and Rutgers). Feel free to make excuses for your team's terrible showing in the comments!