Nittany Lion fans keep Beaver Stadium among nation’s top drawing venues in 2014

A White Out crowd at Beaver Stadium welcomed the Nittany Lions to the field prior to their Oct. 25 game vs. Ohio State. The Nittany Lions erased a 17-point defecit to force overtime but the Buckeyes held on for a tough 31-24 victory. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State fans again demonstrated why they are regarded as the best in the nation and their excitement for coach James Franklin and his squad as they flocked to Beaver Stadium during the 2014 season. Nittany Lion fans boosted the Beaver Stadium average attendance by more than 5,000 per game to keep Penn State No. 5 nationally in average home attendance, according to the NCAA.

Widely recognized as the nation’s most passionate and loyal alumni, fans and students, Penn State supporters kept the Nittany Lions in the top five nationally in average home attendance for the 24th consecutive season. There were 129 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions this past season, according to the NCAA attendance figures.

Led by an electric sellout throng of 107,895 for the primetime, double overtime game with Ohio State, the Nittany Lions drew a total of 711,358 for an average of 101,623 per game during the 2014 season. In 2013, the total home attendance was 676,112, an average of 96,587 per contest, resulting in an average increase of 5,036 fans per game (5 percent) this past season. Penn State fans bought a total of 35,000-plus more tickets over seven home games.

The Nittany Lions’ average increase was third-highest among schools in the top 25 in average home attendance whose stadiums did not expand prior to the 2014 season, according to the NCAA. Florida State (6,790 average), UCLA (6,365) and Penn State (5,036) led the way in average home attendance increases this past season among the attendance leaders whose stadiums did not expand.

“The possibility of creating conditions for success is due to the unparalleled support of our alumni, fans and students,” said Sandy Barbour, director of athletics. “Because of the support of our fans, not only do we create one of the most intimidating atmospheres for opposing teams in all of college athletics, but we are able to provide our student-athletes with the resources they need to enjoy comprehensive academic and athletic success.”

“I have been impressed by our fans and their support for our players at Beaver Stadium,” Franklin said. “Our family reunions in Beaver Stadium are special and one of the many reasons Penn State is unique. I want to thank the fans and students for their passion and the difference they make on gameday. We have the best atmosphere in the nation, and we can’t wait to see everyone at the Blue-White Game.”

Beaver Stadium hosted four crowds in excess of 100,000 last season, topped by the energetic Penn State White Out sellout crowd for the Ohio State clash. During the 2012 and ’13 seasons, the Nittany Lions had one crowd above 100,000 each season. More than 6,000 new Penn State football season tickets, 1,200 partial season tickets and 80,000 single game and group sale tickets were sold for the 2014 season.

Penn State fans, including the energetic, sold-out student section of 21,500-strong, have played a vital role in helping the Nittany Lions post a 57-14 home record since 2005.

The Big Ten Conference broke its single-season record for total attendance during the 2014 football season with 6,359,218 fans attending home games. In addition, nine Big Ten schools produced increases in average attendance this year compared to 2013.

The Nittany Lions return 15 starters (seven offense, seven defense, one specialist), and 14 additional players who have started, for the 2015 season. The Blue-White Game is at 4 p.m. April 18 and the season opener is Sept. 5 against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.

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Last Updated February 17, 2015