Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Predict the attendance for BC-UMass
A vocal group of BC fans have long proclaimed that attendance at home games would be better if Alumni had more parking and friendlier tailgating rules. I have never bought into that logic, but it has served as common Straw man when discussing BC's attendance issues and the game day restrictions imposed by BC's neighbors. I don't want to set up dueling Straw men, but I do think BC's game against UMass in Gillette Stadium is a good test to see how much tailgating matters.
But I will acknowledge that just because the game is being played in Massachusetts doesn't mean the majority of our season ticket holders will go. There are multiple reasons why BC fans won't turn out in droves: Labor Day Weekend is already a tough time to host a football game, Foxoborough traffic can be bad on game days, the effort to buy and pay for another ticket, and UMass is terrible. With only a few weeks remaining until kickoff, I don't get the sense that many BC fans are going. And given the history, not many UMass fans will be there either.
Last year UMass' listed attendance for their home opener against Maine was 15,624. For their home opener in 2012, UMass listed attendance at 16,304. When BC last played UMass at Alumni, 30,176 showed up. Given the history and all the factors, my prediction for this game is 22,000. That won't be enough for BC to justify changing our rules or using Gillette as an occasional venue, but we will be able to take credit for a significant increase in UMass' gate.
What do you think? Are you going? How many people will they claim showed up? Leave your thoughts in the comments.