The televised football viewing experience has never been better. Broadcast partners are bringing more and more cameras to cover the action. With HD or 4K technology and 50-inch flat screens, viewers catch details usually reserved for insiders with sideline passes.
But the truth remains that in the SEC, there’s no substitute for the authentic game day experience.
According to the NCAA, the SEC has led the nation in average attendance for each of the last 18 years. The conference set a new high in 2015 with an average of 78,630 fans on any given Saturday for a game involving a member school.
Here is the current attendance record for each SEC school:
|School||Attendance record||Year/opponent||2016 capacity|
|Alabama||101,821||+2015, Charleston Southern||101,821|
|Florida||90,916||2009, Florida State||88,548|
|Georgia||92,746||+2015, Georgia Southern||92,746|
|Mississippi St.||62,945||2014, Auburn||61,337|
|Missouri||75,298||1980, Penn State||71,168|
|South Carolina||85,199||2012, Georgia||80,250|
|Texas A&M||110,633||2014, Ole Miss||102,512|
|Vanderbilt||40,350||+ 2014, Tennessee||40,350|
+ — unofficial, denotes last game at capacity
LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and Vanderbilt don’t have an official attendance record, so we’ve listed the last recorded sellout at each of those venues.
The other eight schools in the SEC actually have attendance records higher than their current capacity. So, while there may be 110,000 people that want to watch Tennessee and Florida at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 24, only 102,455 will be able to do so.
There will likely be some attendance records that fall this season, however.
Mississippi’s recent stadium expansion will increase its capacity to 64,038, so it will be a surprise if the Rebels don’t set a new single-game attendance record early this season.
The NCAA’s record for attendance at a single game is 115,109, set in 2013 at Michigan Stadium for a game against Notre Dame. That mark is in serious trouble on Sept. 10 when Tennessee and Virginia Tech transform Bristol Motor Speedway into a football stadium.
More than 150,000 fans are expected to attend, setting a new mark that likely wouldn’t be reached again anytime soon.