Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 UH Cougar football attendance

The Cougars are coming off a 59-41 shellacking at the hands of Southern Miss and end their season against Texas Tech in Lubbock this Saturday. Given that the home schedule is over and a win against the Red Raiders is rather improbable, I've decided to go ahead and put up the updated wins and attendance graph for UH football:
Thanks to a strong season ticket sales campaign and excitement surrounding what was supposed to have been a promising season, the Cougars averaged 31,728 fans per game in 2010. This is an increase of 6,486 fans/game over the 2009 season, and it's the largest average attendance the Cougars have enjoyed since 1981.

To be fair, this represents tickets sold, not actual butts in seats; the games early in the season were packed, but the number of people actually attending subsequent games fall along with the team's fortunes. Nevertheless, more tickets sold means more money for Houston's cash-strapped athletics department, so I'm not complaining.

This number is probably represents the peak of UH football attendance in the near term. For one thing, Robertson Stadium's overall capacity is 32,000, so there's really no way this number could get much higher until the Cougars build a new stadium (fundraising activity is already underway for this much-needed facility). Moreover, the fact that the much-anticipated 2010 season turned out to be a bust will probably dissuade some season ticket holders from renewing next season. I expect average attendance for the 2011 to be lower.

Given how bad UH football attendance used to be, however, this season's attendance number is quite an accomplishment, and it represents some good news in an otherwise disappointing 2010 season.

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