By the numbers: Football attendance

i-987199e49c4fcf9676e7e1be060552c4-fball_attend.jpgPrinceton football’s third consecutive losing season led to the dismissal of head coach Roger Hughes. The losses also have taken a toll on attendance at home games, which fell to 8,178 fans per game in 2009, the lowest average in the 12 seasons of Princeton Stadium. The Tigers drew more than 10,000 spectators just once, for their Oct. 3 loss to Columbia. A Thursday-night game against Colgate that turned out to be one of the season’s most exciting contests attracted a season-low 5,685 fans.

Princeton ranked fourth in Ivy League football attendance this season, behind Yale, Harvard, and Penn, and based on recent history, the Tigers likely rank in the top half of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). In 2008, when Princeton averaged 9,384 fans, its attendance was 38th among 118 FCS schools (the average draw for FCS games was 8,823). In 2006, when Princeton shared the Ivy championship with Yale, the Tigers averaged 12,220 fans and ranked 21st in FCS. The NCAA attendance report for 2009 has not yet been published.

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