Trent Shadid/SEC Country
Attendance at Tiger Stadium dropped at a comparable rate to the national level in 2017.

LSU isn’t immune to college football’s massive attendance decline

Nick Suss

LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!

Get your tickets now, folks

According to a report from CBS Sports on Tuesday, college football experienced its second largest attendance drop in history in 2017, with an average decline of 1,409 fans per game compared to 2016. This marks the fourth straight year that attendance has dropped and marks a 10 percent decline since attendance peaked in 2008.

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And if you think being at a school like LSU makes you immune to this trend, you’d be wrong. As the CBS report points out, the SEC experienced the steepest attendance drop of any Power 5 conference in 2017. And LSU was part of that.

LSU home game attendance per year 2014-17:

Year Average Home Game Attendance
2014 101,723
2015 102,004
2016 101,231
2017 98,306

For the first time since Tiger Stadium expanded to fit more than 100,000 fans in 2014, LSU didn’t reach that round mark in average attendance. Playing Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State on the road doesn’t help this. But the point remains that LSU home attendance dropped 2.9 percent in 2017. The national attendance drop was 3.2 percent. That’s not too far off.

Is this fixable? Yeah, probably. Reducing stadium seats in favor of more luxury boxes and entertainment areas could help attract more fans, as could lowering ticket prices. But as long as watching the game on television in the comfort of your own home remains more alluring than making the trip to a stadium and standing for 3 hours, attendance is going to continue to drop. Unfortunately.

ICYMI

Most LSU news took a hiatus on Tuesday for Mardi Gras, but there was still some stuff worth talking about. In case you missed any of it, here’s a roundup:

In real estate news

LSU football coach Ed Orgeron bought a house in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday, according to various media reports. He had been living in Mandeville, north of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain,  for the past couple of years, but apparently felt it was time to move his family into Baton Rouge full-time.

Reports say Orgeron is moving into the University Club neighborhood. So if you live near there, congrats, you have a famous new neighbor. If not, this news is kind of insignificant. Sorry.

In LSU basketball news

The LSU basketball team lost to Alabama 80-65 on Tuesday night, dropping a game against the Crimson Tide for the second time this season. LSU trimmed Alabama’s lead to 45-44 early in the second half and set up a play to take a lead in the low post, but senior forward Duop Reath’s dunk attempt rimmed out. Alabama promptly turned that miss into a 26-3 run to create an insurmountable lead.

The Tigers return to action on Saturday with a home matchup versus red-hot Missouri, winners of five straight games. Action is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN2.

Today in contrasting holidays

We usually celebrate made-up holidays at the end of the Bayou Bengal Briefing. But Feb. 14, 2018, is one of the few times you’ll come across two real holidays falling on the same day.

On one side, it’s Valentine’s Day. The day that we celebrate love and all its joyous offshoots. On the other side, it’s the Catholic holiday of Ash Wednesday, signifying the first day of Lent. The reason I bring this up? Confusion.

Traditionally, Catholics usually make a sacrifice during Lent. A lot of times, that sacrifice is something like giving up chocolate or desserts or alcohol or something of that like. And Valentine’s Day is usually a celebration of chocolate and desserts and alcohol and stuff of that like.

So how are y’all gonna handle this? Piousness or celebration? I can’t wait to see how this works out.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.