The Alabama Crimson Tide are one of the top teams in the nation and will be playing for a spot in the BCS National Championship. While the Crimson Tide have been taking down their opponents at Bryant-Denny Stadium, they have been doing so in front of the smallest crowds the university has produced since 2009.
According to a report from Alabama’s student newspaper The Crimson White, the upper deck at Bryant-Denny Stadium has seen it’s lowest attendance rate in the past three years.
Citing information from The University of Alabama under an open-records request, the CW reports that just 69.4 percent of the student tickets sold for 2012 season were actually used. The Tide’s final two games against Western Carolina and Auburn were the two lowest-attended games in the student section with just under 6,000 students showing up for the WCU game, the lowest student attendance for a game at Bryant-Denny since 2008.
After the stadium was expanded from 92,012 to 101,821 seats for the 2010 season, student seating was increased from 15,000 seats to 17,000, with all tickets continuing to sell out quickly over the summer.
While attendance is at a low point, Alabama associate athletic director for media relations Doug Walker said that there have been no discussions to reduce the number of tickets given to students.
One positive from the Crimson White’s report is that “students have the option to donate tickets to a donation pool or transfer them to another student and unused tickets count against a student’s eligibility to purchase post-season tickets as well as student ticket packages for subsequent seasons.”
If students can’t turn out for a team competing for a national championship, then perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the number of tickets the university is handing out to students.