“We’re not necessarily hearing that,” Stansbury said, “and when we went into season-ticket sales last January, that definitely was not one of the topics that our ticket-relations folks were hearing.”
Assuming the final game against Georgia is a sellout at 55,000 (as is routinely the case), the season average will be 37,819. The last time Tech’s season average was that low was 1989, when it was 34,352. However, capacity for the stadium at that point was 43,719.
An average home attendance of 37,819 will constitute 69% of capacity, a drop in 12 percentage points from the 2019 season average (44,599) by percentage of capacity. Tech is not the only ACC team to be suffering a significant attendance drop from 2019 figures.
Louisville (25 percentage points), Duke (24) and Syracuse (18) have seen their home attendance take even larger dives than Georgia Tech. The three schools and Tech fit in a pattern of teams that had losing seasons in 2020 and have not captivated fans with their play this season.
And while Tech was wise to plan for a potential drop in attendance, that wasn’t the only possible outcome. While six ACC schools have seen their attendance fall by at least 10 percentage points of capacity from 2019 numbers, the other eight have been more stable.
In fact, four – Boston College, Florida State, Pitt and Wake Forest – have seen their attendance averages improve upon 2019 numbers, evidence that attendance can be improved even in this climate. Boston College and Pitt started the season strong and have built on encouraging 2020 seasons. Wake Forest has far surpassed expectations. Florida State has begun to recover from a drop likely associated with the tenure of former coach Willie Taggart.