Attendance for the high school football championships at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in December was down 15.5 percent over 2016, the last time that all the games were played at one venue, the GHSA confirmed on Friday.
The decline was not surprising given the midweek schedule. The eight championships were played on Dec. 11-12, a Tuesday and a Wednesday, instead of the usual Friday-Saturday setup. They were postponed four days because of the MLS championship played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 8.
The conflict with the professional soccer championship was not certain until Atlanta United advanced to the championship nine days earlier. The GHSA had announced the contingency plan before the season.
The two-day paid attendance for the 2018 games was 40,463, according to the GHSA. More than 5,000 others, including those with coaches passes and complimentary tickets, passed through the turnstiles, the GHSA said.
The paid attendance in 2016, the last year the finals were held in the Georgia Dome, was 47,922, which was a record.
All but two of the 2017 games, the first slated for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, were postponed and moved to other venues because of a snow storm.
The final financial report on the recent finals won’t be completed until closer to March, the GHSA said.
Average paid attendance for the finals since 2008, their first year in the Dome, is 42,366.
2018 – 40,463 (8 games)
2017 – N/A
2016 – 47,922 (8 games)
2015 – 46,312 (7 games)
2014 – 45,744 (7 games)
2013 – 43,989 (7 games)
2012 – 40,326 (7 games)
2011 – 40,401 (5 games)
2010 – 44,154 (5 games)
2009 – 36,685 (5 games)
2008 – 37,659(5 games)
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