Attendance Truth: Northern Illinois eye gouge edition

NIU
The litness aftermath of Tariq Thompson’s pick six.

With the Chargers gone and Mission Valley up for grabs, it seems everybody is suddenly *keenly* interested in San Diego State’s football attendance. Trouble is, that number has always been kind of tough to pin down. The official count is a tickets-distributed figure, and that often doesn’t jibe with the butts in seats. THE HATERZ on the other hand have it on good authority that literally zero people have ever attended an Aztecs football game. We’re here to find the truth, people.

Game
September 30, 2017: SDSU vs. Northern Illinois University. The Eye Gouge Game. Read the recap.

Drawing cards

  • SDSU had climbed to No. 19 in the rankings and this was the first home game since the euphoria of The Blackout. The bandwagon is most certainly rolling.
  • A Mid-American Conference opponent meant pretty cheap tickets, with the lowest going for $19.
  • It was high school band night, meaning the awful first 10-15 rows of Field Level would be full of a thousand kids annoyingly trying to start the wave during key SDSU drives.

Mitigating factors

  • The Huskies are a good team, having beaten Nebraska and all, but come on. If you’re the type of fan that goes to a couple games a year, this ain’t going to be one of them.
  • Northern Illinois has exactly two alums in the entire state of California. Their names are Paul and Barb, and they just moved here from Elgin. They had taffy apple salad at their tailgate. Nice folks.
  • Late 7:30 start is late.

Announced attendance
35,717
There are a couple schools of thought on whether that’s a good number or not. During the week, I posted that anything over 30,000 for a nonconference game with an opponent of this profile would be good. Conversely, a local columnist proclaimed anything under 45,000 would be an embarrassment. This attendance figure was basically a Rorschach test, proving whatever you would like it to prove, depending on your bias.

Evidence: Exhibit A

I took these photos during the second quarter. Note: My phone is utter crap.

NIU6
Visiting sideline
NIU5
Home sideline, featuring band youths.
niu4.jpg
West end zone.
NIU2
Student section.

Evidence: Exhibit B
These photos were crowd-sourced from our loyal Twitter followers.

DELETE THIS, DANIEL, BEFORE NICK STONE SEES IT!

 

Verdict
Rating the official attendance figure on a scale of one to five fudge elves, with one being accurate and five being fudged to the point of demanding a public records request.

There were probably 35K there … during the first half at least. The lower bowl and loge were about 90 percent full. Why the two fudge elves? Well …

Yeah. In the fourth quarter, with the Aztecs clinging to a lead, all the lil’ bandos had gone home, half the students were already raging on frat row and probably 8-10,000 others had decided it was too far past their bedtime to help will their team to an undefeated season.

Stop being so damn San Diego, San Diego.

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Author: Aztecs Killing Him

Former proprietor of AztecsKillingHim dot com, a long-dead SDSU sports blog that was possibly dumber even than this one. On Twitter at @akh_blog.

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