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Record-setting attendance

By Brad Ferguson
On April 9, 2014

As of the 2013-14 season, both Utah State football and men’s basketball have left their mark on history.

A surprising, record-setting year for Aggie fandom has led to a new high for attendance in both venues. According to usustats.com and the recently released 2013 USU football media guide, Romney Stadium and the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum have both set records for the highest average percentage of attendance in USU history this year. This means USU’s stadium and arena were both filled during this past academic year with the most people, for the most games, ever.

For those dedicated fans of the 2005-06 USU football team, which weren’t many, Romney Stadium averaged out to be 36 percent full for every game of the year. Although they were merely 2-3 at home that year, that record wasn’t aided by the fact that, on average, 64 percent of the seats were left empty every game.

Fast forward eight years to USU’s most recent football team and the stands at Romney Stadium tell a different story. Much love was shown to the Aggies at the beginning of the year, with the stadium sold out for its first three home games against Weber State, BYU and Boise State.

USU has not seen three-consecutive sellouts in years, possibly ever. Over the eight years, Romney Stadium went from a quiet 36 percent average attendance to a contentious 91 average attendance with only three changes in the head coach position.

Since 1968, Romney Stadium has had a total attendance of 3,270,620. The first USU football game in history was against the University of Utah back on Nov. 25, 1892, in which the Aggies took home the victory winning 12-0 while playing without a coach. 116 Aggies have been drafted by the NFL, with many more hopefuls in the future. There have been Aggies in seventeen Super Bowls, including Super Bowls I and II under Vince Lombardi, as well as nine former Aggies who have a ring on their finger.

The Hurd along with USU Alumni have been on a steady rise, especially since 2010.

On April 28, 2012, USU’s logo got a much-needed facelift thanks to a close relationship with Charlie Denson, USU graduate and president of Nike Brand at the time.

Maybe this increase of fandom and volume follows in the wake of completing the Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics complex, a 69,000-square-foot facility that serves all 16 USU intercollegiate sports.

A winning season brings a more dominant fan base — or perhaps the other way around. One single year that could challenge this theory would be none other than this year’s attendance in the Spectrum.

Jumping back to last year, USU basketball displayed a winning record of 21-10, but yielded a much-lower-than-usual 77 percent average game attendance for the year. The recently finished 2013-14 basketball season put up the fewest wins since the 1998-99 season and yet the Hurd, alumni, and general USU fans displayed their dominance with a record 96 percent average game attendance, the fullest the Spectrum has ever been.

Facts being facts, USU football and men’s basketball have seen more fan support at their games than ever before. Only USU’s rich history and recent victories are suspects of the increase.

Cache Valley is home of, through many polls, a nationally ranked fan base. Through searching almost any top-ten rankings of “best college basketball arenas,” the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum will be listed.

The Aggies call this basketball-buzzed, football-frenzied, sleep-in-a-tent-for-a-week-just-to-get-a-seat kind of town home. Logan, Utah will anxiously wait a quiet summer until it can, come fall, rear its rowdy head.

- brad.ferguson76@gmail.com
Twitter: @bradferg47

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