It all began ten springs ago, when an overflow crowd of 92,138-plus fans packed Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Crimson Tide's first spring game under Nick Saban. The total nearly doubled Alabama's A-Day attendance record and forced university officials to start turning people away in the first half. The unexpected turnout made headlines across the nation and started the competition of spring game attendances.
Alabama's A-Day attendance has ebbed and flowed, mostly due to the convenience of watching the game on TV. The last eight games have all been televised.
2016 … 76,212 - ESPN
2015 … 65,175 - SEC+
2014 … 73,506 - ESPNU
2013 … 78,315 - ESPN2
2012 … 78,526 - CSS
2011 … 92,310 - ESPNU
2010 … 91,312 - ESPN
2009 … 84,050 - ESPN
2008 … 78,200 - none
2007 … 92,138 - none
2006 … 40,000 - none
2005 … 25,000 - none
After setting a national trend, other schools from around the country made it their purpose to try and one-up Tide Nation. There were some fine attempts by many programs but after awhile, most of them have resigned themselves to their positions in the world.
Clemson (April 8, 70º and sunny)
Announced crowd of 60,000 today, a Clemson spring game record pic.twitter.com/yIZS3DdxNP— Anna Hickey (@AnnaH247) April 8, 2017
CU officials announced “over 60,000” but as you can see, most of the upper deck was empty. You would think coming off a NC that they would at least approach Bama numbers. However, they did have a “Gump” like moment...
Clemson rushing the field after the spring game. Act like you've won before orange team fans! #nationalcommentators pic.twitter.com/QEbDnvyXeB— Jason Wilson (@IPTAYINFO) April 8, 2017
Florida (April 7, 66º and partly cloudy) vs. Florida State (April 8, 73º and mostly sunny)
Scratching off another CFB stadium (kind of) with @the_schu_fits & @Please_SchuttMe. Taking in Florida's Orange & Blue Debut pic.twitter.com/M5v3IgXeD3— Dustin Schutte (@Schutte_B1GFB) April 8, 2017
Kickoff time for FSU spring game on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/fGFbg4wz9c— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) April 8, 2017
A rare Friday night game that will probably become the norm (thanks to ESPN money) secured another estimated number: 48,000 for the Gators. A decent crowd, I guess, but still an empty upper deck. That number did, however, almost double the paltry turnout by the ‘Noles of 26,649 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Auburn (April 8, 71º and mostly sunny)
They're actually having a baby race at halftime of Auburn spring game. That's different. pic.twitter.com/5bUwL305Du— John Zenor (@jzenor) April 8, 2017
Aubie had 46,331, but they had Baby Racing! Take that, Bama!
Tigers Spring Game Attendances:
Ole Miss: An Intimate Gathering of Friends (April 8, 74º and clear)
Officials claimed “approximately 8,000” turned out to see the Grove Bowl. However, across the street at the baseball stadium, they had no trouble getting an exact count of 10,247 to see the baseball game. Making things worse, Hugh Freeze did one of those stupid points system games in which they began the game spotting the defense a 27-0 lead.
Spring Game Photo Galleries || https://t.co/riODLdB1TW || https://t.co/aUiljJE8ae || https://t.co/7S4VO2n7zC #Sooners pic.twitter.com/t88oRDPO7I— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) April 9, 2017
Oklahoma: 43,723 (April 8, 81º and mostly sunny)
Michigan State: estimated 25,000 (April 1)
My view for tamu spring game. Whoop!!! pic.twitter.com/Jshp7lPEAH— Ray Pieniazek (@ECMrP) April 8, 2017
Texas A&M: nearly 21,000 (April 8, 82º and sunny)
Mississippi State: 16,630 (April 8)
Iowa State: estimated 15,000 (April 8)
South Carolina: estimated 12,345 (April 1)
Texas Tech: at least 12,000 (April 1)
Colorado: estimated 6,250 (March 18)
Purdue: 6,006 (April 8)
BYU: estimated 6,000 (March 25)
Wake Forest: 3,154 (April 8)
Several schools chose not to release any attendance figures. You can probably imagine why. Arizona (March 2, spring showcase), Boise (April 8), Duke (March 4), Illinois (open spring practice), Miami (no spring game held), North Carolina (April 8), Northwestern (April 1), NC State (April 1), Oregon State (March 18), TCU (April 8), Vanderbilt (March 25, spring showcase).
SPRING GAMES THIS WEEKEND
This is not a full list; just games of mild interest.
FRIDAY, Apr 14: Kentucky plays at 6:30pm CT on SECN.
SATURDAY, Apr 15: If you have some of these crazy channels, you can check out some others across the nation. All times CT.
Ohio State 11:30 AM BTN
Michigan (practice) noon BTN2Go
Kansas 1:00 PM JTV/ESPN3 - Brent will be watching!
Missouri 1:00 PM SECN
Nebraska 1:00 PM BTN2Go
Texas 1:00 PM LHN
Southern Cal 2:00 PM Pac-12N
Stanford 3:00 PM Pac-12B
Arizona State 4:00 PM Pac-12N - C’mon, you’re curious, aren't you?
SATURDAY, Apr 22:
Notre Dame 11:30 AM NBCSN
Georgia 1:00 PM SECN
Alabama 2:00 PM ESPN
Penn State 2:00 PM BTN
Washington 2:00 PM Pac-12N
FAU! 3:00 PM Freshwater Network
Tennessee 3:00 PM SECN
LSU 7:00 PM SECN
Arkansas, Oregon, UCLA and a few others play on April 29th.