Penn State continues strong home football attendance; ranks No. 5 nationally

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State fans continue to demonstrate why they are regarded as the best in the nation as they flocked to Beaver Stadium, keeping the Nittany Lions among the top five nationally in home attendance.

For the 23rd consecutive season, Penn State's passionate and enthusiastic fans will rank among the top five in the nation in average home attendance among the 124 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions. Led by an electric sellout throng of 107,884 for the primetime clash with Michigan, the Nittany Lions drew a total of 676,112 fans, an average of 96,587 per game, off by just 143 fans per game (996 total, 0.1 percent) compared to the 2012 average of 96,730.

Penn State saw the overall attendance for its four Big Ten home games this season increase by 10,573 from 2012, an average of 2,643 per game. Last Saturday’s home finale for Coach Bill O’Brien’s squad against Nebraska drew 98,517, the second-largest crowd of the season. The combined attendance for the last two games of the 2013 season (Purdue and Nebraska) was 195,008, an increase of 11,145 (5,573 average) compared to the final two games of the 2012 season against Indiana and Wisconsin.

“Penn State fans continue to show why Beaver Stadium has one of the nation’s best atmospheres and greatest home field advantages,” said Dave Joyner, director of athletics. "Thanks to our loyal and passionate fans, our attendance has seen minimal change from last year.

“Schools across the nation, as well as professional sports, have seen some declines in attendance,” he added. “We have taken steps this year to enhance the gameday experience for our fans in Beaver Stadium and have seen positive results, particularly in the latter half of the season. We will continue to increase value for our loyal and prideful fans in 2014 with the new videoboards and other initiatives we will be working on leading up to next season.”

“I can’t say enough about the tremendous support by Penn State fans for our team throughout the year and especially on those Saturdays when we get to play in Beaver Stadium, the best stadium in college football,” stated O’Brien. “The fans and the energy and passion they bring mean so much to the players and our program. We have the best student body in the nation, including Nittanyville, and our players love working hard every week during the season to play well for the fans and their teammates.”

The slight decline in overall home attendance this season from 2012 is being felt at FBS programs nationwide. The five schools that led the NCAA in average attendance last year all have a smaller average home attendance figure this year compared to 2012 in games through Nov. 23, with Penn State’s difference of 143 fans the smallest average decline. Eight of top 10 attendance leaders from 2012 have seen a decline in their average home attendance as of Nov. 23, compared to last year.

Penn State fans, including the energetic, sold-out student section of 21,400-strong, have played a vital role in helping the Nittany Lions post a 52-12 on-field home record since 2005, including a 10-4 mark under O’Brien.

Penn State Athletics is on Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions).

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Last Updated November 25, 2013