Five HBCU schools rank in the top ten in FCS Football average attendance halfway through the season.
Jackson State, Southern, FAMU, Alabama State and Norfolk State are HBCU schools that have consistently packed their stadiums to reach the top ten in average attendance this year.
Jackson State ranks number with an average of 27,313 fans after playing only two home games so far this season. After playing in two neutral site games and two away games, Jackson State played their first home game in a 22-16 win in the W.C. Garden Classic against Bethune-Cookman that saw an attendance of 23,681 in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Homecoming would be their second game as 30,945 alumni and fans packed the stadium in a 24-19 loss to Alabama State.
Jackson State remains the leader of FCS and HBCU as they have finished in first place in 2021 and 2022. Jackson State finished the 2021 season with an average attendance of 42,293 and 2022 with an average of 42,049. The Prime effect from former coach Deion Sanders caused Jackson State to sell out games and dominate the rest of FCS schools in average attendance. In the post-Deion Sanders era, Jackson State still leads the FCS in attendance, but not by a wide margin like the previous two years.
Southern is ranked fourth with an average attendance of 20,095 with four home games so far this season. Southern’s highest attendance came in their home opener against Jackson State with 29,986 in attendance. Their homecoming win over Lincoln University (CA) brought in 21,945. Southern has finished the last two seasons in the top five of FCS average attendance with being ranked fifth with 18,698 in 2021 and at fourth with 19,844 in 2022.
FAMU is ranked sixth with an average attendance of 18,406. Like Jackson State, FAMU has only played two home games so far this season. The only difference is that they have not played their homecoming game. In their home opener, 17,953 were in attendance to see FAMU’s 31-10 win over West Florida. The following week, 18,858 were in attendance to see a 23-10 win over Alabama State. FAMU did not finish in the top ten in average attendance last year, but in 2021 they finished sixth behind Southern with 16,967.
Alabama State comes in ranked eighth with an average of 17,384 after playing four home games. Alabama State’s home opener during their 14-10 Labor Day Classic win over Southern brought 22,726 in attendance. Their next highest game attendance was 17,995 during their 19-14 homecoming victory over Bethune-Cookman. Alabama State finished last season ranked sixth with an average attendance of 18,069.
Norfolk State, the only MEAC school in the top ten, ranks ninth behind Alabama State with an average of 17,281 fans in only two home games so far this season. They lost their home opener 33-24 to renew their rivalry with Virginia State. That game attracted a crowd of 21,640. The next home game resulted in a 28-26 loss to NC A&T in front of 12,894.
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