Washington State improved on the field in 2013, but the better product didn't lead to increased attendance. Instead, attendance for WSU home games declined slightly last season.
The official NCAA attendance figures are out and 178,427 people attended WSU home games last season. That's good for an average of 29,738 which is a decline of 1.7 percent from 2012, according to the ESPN Pac-12 blog. That number is roughly 3,000 people below Martin Stadium capacity, although it does receive a boost from the Seattle game. The Seattle game against Stanford drew 40,095 fans, meaning the Cougars averaged 27,666 fans for games played in Martin Stadium, a little more than 5,000 fans below capacity.
Part of the reason for the slight decline was an inferior home schedule. There was no Apple Cup in Pullman, no USC, no Oregon. There was a Thursday home game (which drew only 20,617) and a game the Saturday before Thanksgiving (which drew 23,112). That isn't to make an excuse for below capacity attendance, it's merely to say it wasn't unexpected.
Now, the entire paragraph above will be irrelevant in 2014. The Cougars will play an excellent home schedule. Washington State will play seven homes games next season, including six in Pullman. Oregon will come to town. So will the Trojans and of course the Huskies will make the trek for the Apple Cup. There is no home game the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The Apple Cup is on a Saturday and the only Thursday game will be the season opener against Rutgers, played in Seattle. The construction in Pullman will also be complete, meaning an additional 500 seats or so with the opening of the CrimZone. The team itself should also be improved and are coming off a bowl season. All told, WSU should see a significant jump in attendance next season, possibly near capacity. An average attendance of 32,000 seems entirely possible.
Pac-12 college football attendance changes in 2013 - ESPN
While Pac-12 attendance was down slightly in 2013 compared to 2012 -- an average of 53,586 compared to 53,619 the previous season -- three conference teams ranked among the nation's leaders in posting the biggest gains from last year, including Washington, which ranked No. 1 in increased attendance.
Bottom Line: While Bucannon has some flaws, he draws comparisons among scouts to guys like Donte Whitner. Deone is one of the better strong safeties available in the draft and many safety needy teams will take a serious look at drafting him. Big hit safeties might cause problems with the rules of the NFL today, but his ability to generate turnovers at the college level are appealing.
Tia Presley Named Pac-12 Player of the Week - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State junior guard Tia Presley was named the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.
Baseball Road Trip Ends in Defeat - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
UC Riverside collected 17 hits and posted a 12-7 victory over Washington State at the Riverside Sports Complex, Monday.