There were high expectations in Tempe this season for the football team and Sun Devils fans showed their support throughout the year, even when the team was struggling. Thanks to multiple primetime showdowns with Mizzou, a game that featured the first-ever Blackout at Sun Devil Stadium, along with Pac-12 showdowns with USC and Arizona, Arizona State football posted the highest increase in attendance of anyone in the nation.
The Sun Devils averaged 59,007 fans per game, 11,064 more fans per game than in 2010, according to a report out of the Arizona Republic. Stanford saw a 9,955 per-game increase, with Iowa State (8,252), Oklahoma State (6,417) and Florida State (6,122) rounding out the top five.
This is great news for the University in a multitude of ways. Not only is it great exposure for the program, but it provides the athletic department with extra funding for upgrades to the stadium, weight rooms and more. It also shows the hunger for a dominant football team in Phoenix; ASU took some punches along the way in 2011, but the fans still stood behind the players.
It will be interesting to see how the attendance numbers fluctuate in 2012. A new coach always shakes things up, although the loss of Brock Osweiler, Vontaze Burfict and others may cause for some struggles in conference play. Will the fans continue to support the Sun Devils, or will the crowd numbers regress back to their levels in 2010?