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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why the MWC needs the state of Utah

When the University of Texas comes calling, opposing stadiums fill up. The same is true for Notre Dame. In 2009, host stadiums attracted an additional 9,000 ticket holders above the season average for the Irish and Longhorns. Utah and BYU have the same effect in the MWC. In 2009, these two programs added 8,100 and 5,600 in attendance, respectively, when they came to town.

BYU and Utah are also the two biggest draws for home games in the MWC. BYU averages 64,000 and Utah 45,000, compared to a league average below 35,000. 

Last season, there were 1,142,146 total in attendance for conference games in the MWC. Almost a 1/4th of those came to BYU's Lavell Edwards Stadium, and another 180,008 gathered in Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium. If we adjust these figures for the fan appeal of visiting teams, and then add in the fans attracted by BYU and Utah when they traveled, BYU and Utah accounted for 492,121 stadium-goers for conference games in 2009. That represents 43% of all attendees.

Let me say that again. Two conference teams, or 22% of the conference, are responsible for 43% of ticket sales

Boise St. is a major draw and should help other teams recover some lost revenue, but Boise St, Fresno St, and Nevada cannot replace the revenue generated by the conference's Utah members.

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