ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For the third-straight season - and the eighth time in the last nine years - the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) attracted more fans to its football games than any other conference in NCAA Division III. The MIAC led the division in both total and average attendance to three-peat as the Division III attendance leader.
In 2013, a
total of 160,482 fans attended the 48 football games hosted by the
MIAC's nine football team, an average of 3,343 fans per game. All
nine of the MIAC's football institutions drew at least 6,400 total
fans and more than 1,200 fans per game in2013. MIAC schools also
fared well in the national attendance standings, as Saint John's
led the nation in attendance per game (7,364) for the 12th time in
the last 13 years, and Bethel (38,054) and the Johnnies (36,822)
finished third and fourth, respectively, in total attendance.
the MIAC and Saint John's were recognized for their nation-leading
figures and streaks in an NCAA.com press
release announcing the 2013 attendance
"Thank you to all the MIAC football fans for your continued support of our teams and student-athletes," said MIAC Executive Director Dan McKane. "Our schools, coaches and student-athletes work extremely hard to put an outstanding product on the field, and we're glad that so many fans keep coming back year after year to enjoy MIAC football. We're very fortunate to have our passionate and dedicate community of fans, and we appreciate their continued support."
In the national Division III conference standings, the MIAC drew more than 30,000 fans than any other league, with the Ohio Athletic Conference coming in second with a total of 130,382. The MIAC outdistanced the American Southwest Conference (3,210) by an average of 133 fans per game to also lead the nation in that category. The MIAC's per-game attendance was better than nine Division II conferences and one Division I FCS conference, and its total attendance was higher than six Division II leagues and one Division I FCS conference.
The Johnnies and Royals finished 1-2 in the conference in football attendance, with SJU's average of 7,364 fans per game and Bethel's 38,054 total fans both leading the league. Concordia finished third in the league in both categories, with 22,135 fans and an average 4,427 per game. St. Thomas finished fourth with 19,825 total fans and 3,965 per game. Gustavus rounded out the top five in both categories with 12,303 total fans and 2,461 per game.
The conference's two Northfield schools drew almost identical fan support in 2013, as St. Olaf finished with 9,215 total fans and an average of 1,843 per game, while Carleton had a total attendance of 9,111 and an average of 1,822. Hamline had 6,574 total fans in 2013 and an average of 1,315 per game, and Augsburg drew 6,443 total fans for a per-game average of 1,289.
For the first time, total attendance at NCAA football topped 50 million in 2013. The 657 schools who sponsor football in the NCAA drew 50,291,275 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason games. That total breaks the previous NCAA attendance record of 49,699,419, set in 2011. Division III contributed to that total with a Division-record total of 2,465,231 fans. Division I FBS also set a record with 38,135,118 fans. Division I FCS contributed 6,238,740 fans and Division II had 2,985,610 spectators.
The MIAC will welcome Division III's top-rated crowds back for another outstanding season on the football field in September. The MIAC season officially kicks off with nonconference action on Saturday, Sept. 6. Conference play begins on Saturday, Sept. 20, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 15, with 11 total weeks and nine conference weeks on the schedule. The full 2014 MIAC football schedule is now available online.