Posted: 10:26 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Georgia Tech does not plan to move away from its Friday night spring games.
For the second consecutive year, attendance was down, but weather played a large factor in both scrimmages.
“I don’t think it’s a Friday thing,” said Rick Thorpe, associate athletic director for sales and fan experience. “I think it’s a weather thing.”
Last Friday, heavy rain and winds pelted the fans who made it to Bobby Dodd Stadium. No official attendance was given, but my estimate was about 1,500. It was pretty miserable. Last year, it was about 5,000 on a particularly cool night and while the rain held off, the threat of it forced the cancellation of pregame activities and presumably kept fans away.
However, in 2012, the first year of the Friday night spring game, attendance was about 18,000 when conditions were ideal. It’s possible that the Friday night strategy has run its course, but I’d think it would be worth testing that theory against a pleasant evening and not a monsoon.
Spring games in general have not been well-attended at Tech, even on Saturday. In 2009, following coach Paul Johnson’s first season, attendance was 8,500. It was about 7,000 in 2011. (I can’t find a report from the 2010 game. But that game was called at halftime due to lightning, so I’m guessing it wasn’t 55,000.) In 1991, the year after the national championship season, attendance was 5,191, although the game was delayed an hour due to storms.