Highest Attendances in College Football and How They Compare to Other Sports

Highest Attendances in College Football
Highest Attendances in College Football

College football fever is sweeping through the nation as Week 0 fast approaches this weekend, and thousands of fans are digging through their possessions to find their team colours ahead of gameday. Deep rooted community ties, alumni loyalty and a high level of football are all rolled into this cultural phenomenon, so we are taking a look at the highest attendances in college football from last year to see which teams live and breathe it more than most.

  • In 2022, FBS attendances rose for the first time in four years, jumping 5% and bucking the trend of waning figures in recent years.
  • Nine of the top 10 average home attendances saw over 90,000 spectators.
  • Eight of the 10 largest stadiums in the world are home to college football teams.

In some areas of the US, namely parts of the midwest and the South, college football is actually more popular than the NFL.

When attendance and viewership are combined, it is the nation’s second-most popular sport. The deep-rooted tradition of representing your college or university, coupled with the pageantry on any given gameday has seen it grow to become a phenomenon that only exists at this level in the USA.

Professional sports leagues of course command global audiences, with multi-billion dollar broadcasting deals in order to facilitate an increasingly connected fanbase.

Even at an amateur level, college football still manages to attract some of the biggest crowds in sport due to its deeply-embedded community links, historic rivalries, pre-game traditions and high-octane drama.

Below we list the top 10 highest attendances in college football from 2022, which reflects just how popular the phenomenon is.

Highest Attendances in College Football – 2022

  1. Michigan Wolverines – 110,246
  2. Penn State – 107,379
  3. Ohio State – 104,663
  4. LSU – 100,596
  5. Tennessee Volunteers – 100,532
  6. Texas Longhorns – 100,242
  7. Alabama – 98,981
  8. Texas A&M – 97,213
  9. Georgia – 92, 746
  10. Florida Gators – 87,170

Average FBS attendance figures for 2022, supplied by D1 Ticker.

A remarkable shift last season put an end to a seven-year trend of falling attendance figures.

The shift from paper tickets to a seamless ticketless system, wide-spread sale of alcohol now the norm in stadiums and rapid improvements to in-house concourses led to fans flocking in their thousands to games last year.

Six teams who inhabit the largest of the nine stadiums all made it major bowl games last year, which is also likely to have been a driving factor behind the increase.

Georgia, Michigan and Ohio all made it to the College Football Playoff, and many fans who perhaps hadn’t made a habit out of attending in recent years seized the opportunity to join in with the festivities.

RELATED: College Football Week 0 Odds: Notre Dame, USC, Vanderbilt Open As Heavy Favorites

College Football Attendances Changes

2014 44,603 -1,068
2015 43,933 -670
2016 43,612 -321
2017 42,203 -1,409
2018 41,856 -347
2019 41,477 -379
2021 39,848 -1,629
2022 41,840 +1,992

RELATED: College Fantasy Football 2023: Best Picks, Tips And Mock Draft

How Do College Football Attendance Levels Compare to Other Sports?

It is well documented that soccer is the most widely watched sport on the planet, and this is reflected by the fact the top five European leagues all feature in the list below.

It is testament to college football’s popularity that it would rank third among the table below if it was a professional league, with last season seeing an average of 41,890 people per game.

League Sport Country Season Average


National Football League American football USA 2022 69,389
Bundesliga Soccer Germany 2022/23 42,966
Premier League Soccer England & Wales 2022/23 40,236
Australian Football League Australian football Australia 2022 32,620
La Liga Soccer Spain 2022/23 29,584
Serie A Soccer Italy 2022/23 29,537
Major League Baseball Baseball USA 2022 27,245
Ligue 1 Soccer France 2022/23 23,810
  • Soccer figures supplied by Transfermarkt
  • NFL, MLB and AFL figures supplied by Statista

Other Content You May Like

Latest news

View all
Arrow to top