Factors Affecting Attendance at Bowl Games During the BCS Era

Abstract

Six independent variables combined in a formula that explains 82.2 percent of the variance in attendance (r2 = .822) in all 271 college football bowl games that have been played in the past 10 years. This is despite the fact that during a recent explosion in new bowl games and the creation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), attendance to these traditional post-season football exhibitions has varied from 5,494 for the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic to 94,392 for the 2001 Rose Bowl. These six variables, out of 11 that were tested, each showed a relationship to attendance that was statistically significant at the 0.01 alpha level (p > 0.01). They include the seating capacity of the stadium (Stadium), the average home game attendance of the participating teams (AHAtt), the age of each bowl game (Age), the winning percentages of the participating teams (Wpct.), the travel distance between the representative institutions and the sites of the bowl games (Distance) and the number of days that elapsed between the participating teams’ final regular season or conference championship game and the bowl game itself (Notice). When the researcher studied only the bowls that were at least six years of age (n = 194), where the attendance track record of the individual bowls could be used as an independent variable, a formula of five independent variables that explain 91 percent of the variance (r2d = .910) was developed. All five variables had a relationship with attendance that was statistically significant at the 0.01 alpha level (p > 0.01). The formula included the attendance average of each bowl game over the previous five years (FiveAtt), Stadium, Distance, Wpct and AHAtt.

Introduction

It would be difficult to find a decade in the 106-year history of college football bowl games in which more dramatic changes have occurred in the major college football postseason. The number of bowl games has increased more than 50 percent from 22 in 1998 to 34 in 2008. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has dramatically increased revenues for the elite-level bowl games, and payouts for their participants. The growth of conference championship games and other games being played on the first Saturday in December has decreased the amount of notice academic institutions and fans have in finding out which bowl games their teams will be participating.

Attendance has also taken on an added importance because the growth in number of non-BCS bowl games has created a “clutter” of bowl games on television, creating a potential for a saturated market.

While the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not have an official national championship event for its Division One Football Bowl Subdivision (D1-FBS), the fact that there has been only one bowl game a year that has had an effect on the national championship (in eight out of the past 10 years) makes new marketing approaches all the more necessary for even more bowl games. Bowls such as the Cotton Bowl, which helped determine the national champion in 1978 and hosted the No. 2-ranked team in 1984; the Holiday Bowl, which hosted the No. 1-ranked team in 1984; and the Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl), which hosted the United Press International’s (UPI) recognized national champion in 1991; were left out of the BCS when it formed in 1998.

The surge in bowl certification has also led to an increasing number of non-traditional bowl teams participating in bowl games. These teams have little or no track record of bowl attendance and fans that are not accustomed to making postseason bowl travel plans. In some cases, football programs that either did not even exist or play at the NCAA Division 1-A level 10 years before the BCS started have participated in non-BCS bowl games during the BCS era.

These facts all indicate a need to research bowl attendance data. The increase in the number of bowls means that 271 such games have been played during the BCS era, enough to create a valid sample for research purposes.

Review of Literature

Many studies have been conducted regarding spectator attitudes and preferences in sporting events, although most have been based on survey data as opposed to fan behavior. A need to study spectator attitudes and preferences based on behavior instead of surveys arises not only from the practicality of obtaining this data (the NCAA lists attendance figures for all bowl games in a record book stored in a PDF file on its website) but also because a ticket to a sporting event differs from other products and the decision to attend an athletic event or support its participants differs from other types of consumer decisions. These decisions are emotionally-based (Hardy et al, 2003), so depending on the rational mind in a survey and the limited number of responses that can be obtained through survey data creates some disadvantages compared to data based on spectator behavior.

Definition of Terms

Bowl Championship Series (BCS)
A partnership involving the Rose Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Notre Dame and six collegiate athletic conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 10 and Southeastern) to produce an unofficial national championship game for D1-FBS college football and provide the best possible matchups in four major bowl games.
Bowl Games
Special exhibition, All-Star or championship games played at the end of the regular football season. For the purpose of this study, the term will be used in reference to games played after the regular season by D1-FBS teams. As of the end of the 2007 season, there are 32 such games played each year.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
The largest governing body of intercollegiate athletics in the United States.
NCAA Division One
The most competitive level of athletics in the NCAA, with a varying number of schools that usually exceeds 300.
NCAA Division One Football Bowl Subdivision (D1-FBS)
A body of Division One college football teams that play a season culminating in bowl games for 64 of its members. The membership number varies, but usually exceeds 100.

Methodology

Using bowl game attendance as the dependent variable, the researcher analyzed 11 independent variables that theoretically would have an effect on the number of people who attended a bowl game. For the second formula, the researcher analyzed the same 11 independent variables plus one additional independent variable. The researcher used stepwise linear regression analysis as a research method and Statistical Package of Social Science (SPSS) 16.0 as the instrument.

Selection of Subjects

The researcher collected data from all 271 bowls that took place during the BCS era, from December of 1998 to January of 2008. For the second formula, the researcher used data from only those bowl games that were at least six years old at the time they were played (n = 199).

Variables

Dependent

Attendance: The number of spectators who attended each individual bowl game, as reported in the NCAA Football Record Book (NCAA.com, see Table 1).

Table 1
Bowl Attendance

Bowl Attendance
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 60780 65380 60028 65232 50690 56226 65265 62000 65875 66166
Aloha 46451 40974 24397 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 38028 27902 33505 32412 40975
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 74628 79651
Capital One 63584 62011 66928 59693 66334 64565 70229 57221 60774 69748
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 28562 21689 26482 28237 31470 40168 46554
Chick-fil-A 72876 73315 73614 71827 68330 75125 69332 65620 75406 74413
Cotton 72611 72723 63465 72955 70817 73928 75704 74222 66777 73114
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 25966 25621 30653 25742 40331 32517
Fiesta 80470 71526 75428 74118 77502 73425 73519 76196 73719 70016
Gator 70791 43416 68741 72202 73491 78892 70112 63780 67704 60243
GMAC N/A 34200 40300 40139 40646 40620 40160 35422 38751 36932
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 31535 29005 39662 26254 43435 30467
Holiday 65354 57118 63278 60548 58717 61102 66222 65416 62395 64020
Houston N/A N/A 33899 53480 44687 51068 27235 37286 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 19664 29283 26203 23472 30446 23118 28516 30493 28652 27062
Independence 46862 49873 36974 45627 46096 49625 43000 41332 45054 47043
Insight 36147 35762 41813 40028 40533 42364 45917 43536 48391 48892
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 26717 31455
Las Vegas 21429 28227 29113 30894 30324 25437 29062 40053 44615 40712
Liberty 52192 54866 58302 58968 55207 55989 58355 54894 56103 63816
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 73535 51236 73238 57937 52303 53126
MicronPC.com 44387 31089 28359 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 32206 44863 52911 44164 51872 51826 52552 50616 54113 60624
Music City 41248 59221 47119 46125 39183 55109 66089 40519 68024 68681
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 34111 30467
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 27004 19024 25184 27253 18338 24791 25146
Oahu 46451 40974 24187 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 67919 70461 76835 73640 75971 76739 77912 77773 74470 74111
Outback 66005 54059 65229 66249 65101 65372 62414 65881 65601 65601
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 32023 35258
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 36842 29709 39129
Rose 93872 93731 94392 93781 86848 93849 93468 93986 93852 93923
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 30144 38241 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 26542 30456 10132 20126 5494 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 76503 79280 64407 77688 74269 79342 77349 74458 77781 74383
Sun 46612 48757 49093 47812 48917 49894 51288 50426 48732 49867
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 52210 62097

Source: NCAA
N/A (not applicable) means the bowl game did not exist during the indicated season.

Independent

For the whole group (n = 271)

Age of the bowl (Age): The number of times the bowl game has been played, including the year in question (Table 2). In 2006, the BCS stopped rotating its four bowls as being designated championship games and instead added a fifth bowl, the BCS Championship, on Jan. 8 each year to be hosted by one of the four BCS bowl committees. Two such games have been played during the period of this study, but the age of the BCS title game (1 and 2) would not be reflected in attendance. So in these particular games, the age of the host committee’s bowl game is also used as the age of the BCS Championship game. For example, the 2007 BCS title game was the first one of its kind, but since it was hosted by the Fiesta Bowl Committee, it is listed in this study as being the same age as the Fiesta Bowl (35).

Table 2
Age of the Bowls

Current Bowls Age (in 2007-’08) Discontinued Bowls Final Year Age (in final year)
Rose 106 Aloha 2000-’01 19
Orange 73 Houston 2005-’06 6
Sugar 73 Micron PC.com 2000-’01 10
Cotton 71 Silicon Valley 2004-’05 5
Sun 71 Oahu 2000-’01 3
Gator 61 Seattle 2002-’03 2
Capital One 60
Liberty 48
Chick-fil-A 39
Fiesta 36
Indy 31
Holiday 29
Outback 21
Insight 18
Champs Sports 17
Vegas 15
Alamo 14
Human 11
Motor 11
Music 10
GMAC 9
New O 7
Emerald 6
Hawaii 6
Meinecke Car Care 6
Armed 5
Poinsettia 3
BCS Championship* 2 (35 and 73 in the study)
International 2
New Mexico 2
Papajohns.com 2
Texas 2

*For the purpose of this study, the age of each BCS Championship game will be recorded as the same age as the BCS bowl hosting the event.

Average Home Attendance (AHAtt): The average number of spectators that attended the regular-season home games of the participating teams. The average home attendance for each team is averaged together for this variable (Table 3).

Table 3
Average Home Attendance

Bowl Average Home Attendance (averaged between two participating teams)
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 47643.0 84813.0 55688.0 55383.0 63621.0 75292.0 75840.5 94200.0 79545.0 95562.0
Aloha 45336.0 38311.5 44969.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 32126.5 23594.0 29364.5 32321.5 63136.0
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 97752.5 98864.5
Capital One 81782.5 61890.5 96364.0 108375.5 95091.0 75327.5 80803.0 83356.0 77631.5 100326.0
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 49084.5 60325.5 46012.0 41942.5 64320.5 52425.0 56265.0
Chick-fil-A 64689.0 58061.5 65243.0 69016.0 76478.0 90558.5 73771.5 68445.0 79489.5 82717.0
Cotton 57412.5 67272.5 78927.5 68044.5 84680.0 50690.5 90571.0 65995.0 85053.5 64969.5
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 51317.5 36617.5 34149.5 46571.5 72743.5 46318.5
Fiesta 93702.0 92284.0 56975.5 46700.5 86513.5 75990.0 42856.0 92906.0 57507.0 72629.0
Gator 60641.5 42517.0 65618.5 66101.5 65147.5 51720.5 69693.0 53058.0 54695.0 55867.5
GMAC N/A 34163.0 30571.5 31976.5 32131.0 32589.5 29299.0 34858.0 22859.0 20309.5
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 35655.5 31299.0 28703.5 21769.0 45575.5 35937.5
Holiday 62051.0 59820.5 63654.5 77765.5 47513.0 58335.0 58421.0 71382.5 70151.5 74009.5
Houston N/A N/A 39252.5 55841.5 35099.5 39772.0 44552.0 38979.5 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 18925.0 30684.5 35604.0 50292.5 35955.0 37497.0 50635.5 34770.5 29318.0 43285.5
Independence 44674.0 60746.5 60268.5 63742.0 67509.5 57652.5 28630.0 66615.5 66636.0 71413.5
Insight 55735.5 46736.0 41444.0 44840.0 40431.5 50168.0 58564.5 47170.5 51540.5 38514.0
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 19499.0 28374.0
Las Vegas 15165.8 16350.0 18483.0 22080.2 26235.4 27997.4 28799.0 28966.0 31154.0 33898.2
Liberty 45323.0 26705.5 33633.0 50013.5 29137.0 31889.5 35515.0 31066.5 48770.0 46657.0
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 54330.5 59810.5 47824.0 45895.0 33275.0 35400.0
MicronPC.com 51571.5 45804.0 47050.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 32233.5 46929.5 24725.0 26924.0 31865.9 24823.5 31664.5 25442.0 21800.0 39048.5
Music City 60857.5 57248.5 50019.5 64580.0 51268.5 81844.5 64721.5 54909.0 70161.0 73645.5
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 23743.5 23380.0
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 21434.5 21665.5 28681.0 22074.0 23121.5 17785.0 22705.5
Oahu 58505.0 35576.0 70379.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 66644.0 97115.5 77953.0 64498.5 64300.0 70642.0 84880.5 93791.5 36998.5 56508.5
Outback 77134.5 74794.0 89830.5 93073.0 97880.5 77987.5 87557.0 80495.5 106678.0 92832.5
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 33695.0 28483.5
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 31180.0 26348.5 38605.0
Rose 75568.5 63909.5 67897.0 62468.5 56617.5 94361.0 97059.5 87072.5 100753.0 71174.0
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 46609.5 39716.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 41500.5 58259.0 41144.7 47619.5 24140.0 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 75897.5 65622.0 71841.5 71843.5 84143.0 87088.0 74100.0 74494.0 86503.5 68130.0
Sun 44040.0 44689.0 72995.5 44611.5 63932.5 50924.5 63095.0 48372.5 48374.0 56007.5
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 43903.0 25486.5

Attendance Per Mile (APM): The Average Home Attendance of each team, divided by the number of miles between the bowl’s host city and the city where each academic institution is located, averaged together. An example is in Figure A.

2007 Insight Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Indiana

Distance from Stillwater, Okla. (home of Oklahoma State University.) to Phoenix, Ariz. (site of the bowl) = 1085.64 miles

Oklahoma State’s Average Home Attendance = 40,024

Oklahoma State’s APM = 40,024/1085.65 = 36.87

Distance from Bloomington, Ind. (home of Indiana University) to Phoenix = 1,747 miles

Indiana’s Average Home Attendance = 37,004

Indiana’s APM = 21.18

2007 Insight Bowl’s APM = (36.87+21.18)/2 = 29.03

Figure A. Example of Attendance Per Mile (APM) Variable.

BCS Status (BCS): The variable that separates BCS bowls from non-BCS bowls, under the hypothesis that a BCS bowl will normally draw higher attendance. The value of “1” is assigned to BCS bowls while “0” is assigned to non-BCS bowls.

Championship Status (CStatus) — The status of a game as it pertains to the unofficial national championship of D1-FBS football. For this study, the BCS-designated national championship game is given a value of “1” and all other bowl games a value of “0” (Table 4).

Table 4
BCS Bowls

Bowl Year Winning Team in Bold, Championship Games in Italics
BCS 2006-’07 Florida Ohio State
BCS 2007-’08 LSU Ohio State
Fiesta 1998-’99 Tennessee Florida State
Fiesta 1999-’00 Nebraska Tennessee
Fiesta 2000-’01 Oregon State Notre Dame
Fiesta 2001-’02 Oregon Colorado
Fiesta 2002-’03 Ohio State Miami
Fiesta 2003-’04 Ohio State Kansas State
Fiesta 2004-’05 Utah Pittsburgh
Fiesta 2005-’06 Ohio State Notre Dame
Fiesta 2006-’07 Boise State Oklahoma
Fiesta 2007-’08 Oklahoma West Virginia
Orange 1998-’99 Florida Syracuse
Orange 1999-’00 Michigan Alabama
Orange 2000-’01 Oklahoma Florida State
Orange 2001-’02 Florida Maryland
Orange 2002-’03 USC Iowa
Orange 2003-’04 Miami Florida State
Orange 2004-’05 USC Oklahoma
Orange 2005-’06 Penn State Florida State
Orange 2006-’07 Louisville Wake Forest
Orange 2007-’08 Virginia Tech Kansas
Rose 1998-’99 Wisconsin UCLA
Rose 1999-’00 Wisconsin Stanford
Rose 2000-’01 Washington Purdue
Rose 2001-’02 Miami Nebraska
Rose 2002-’03 Oklahoma Washington State
Rose 2003-’04 USC Michigan
Rose 2004-’05 Texas Michigan
Rose 2005-’06 Texas USC
Rose 2006-’07 USC Michigan
Rose 2007-’08 USC Illinois
Sugar 1998-’99 Ohio State Texas A&M
Sugar 1999-’00 Florida State Virginia Tech
Sugar 2000-’01 Miami Florida
Sugar 2001-’02 LSU Illinois
Sugar 2002-’03 Georgia Florida State
Sugar 2003-’04 LSU Oklahoma
Sugar 2004-’05 Auburn Virginia Tech
Sugar 2005-’06 West Virginia Georgia
Sugar 2006-’07 LSU Notre Dame
Sugar 2007-’08 Georgia Hawaii

Distance (Distance): The number of miles between the bowl’s host city and the city where each participating team is located (Table 5). The travel distance of each team is averaged out for this variable. The distances were found through the internet using Mapquest.com for mainland bowls and Ask.com for the Aloha, O’ahu and Hawaii bowls.

Table 5
Distance

Bowl Mean of Two Teams’ Travel Distances in Miles
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 982.46 912.34 1,081.26 765.05 1,147.07 1,167.58 921.44 1,177.24 600.90 912.34
Aloha 2,930.00 3,807.00 4,000.50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 849.07 1,003.34 388.53 774.47 1,205.70
BCS Title Game N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,982.42 495.28
Capital One 1,117.34 631.92 823.29 901.23 732.99 746.85 975.12 863.40 1,196.24 631.92
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 783.90 985.59 937.58 828.90 1,198.63 952.28 1,264.36
Chick-fil-A 292.31 205.01 263.38 244.75 433.94 169.08 501.81 596.95 243.41 116.10
Cotton 375.48 264.93 669.21 261.56 319.94 401.79 513.02 466.01 671.07 468.80
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,020.38 2,157.90 1,964.73 1,609.41 1,510.00 1,694.69
Fiesta 1,880.06 1,646.11 1,582.88 1,240.15 2,151.54 1,556.28 1,648.40 1,910.65 1,022.55 1,590.78
Gator 683.30 351.37 489.32 359.76 736.91 741.77 461.25 661.00 552.40 1,005.90
GMAC N/A 717.02 362.91 794.15 700.53 689.82 649.35 1,068.07 489.05 811.33
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,105.00 1,949.00 2,181.00 3,654.50 1,459.00 3,848.50
Holiday 989.72 1,415.66 1,141.56 1,280.59 970.32 1,257.22 769.09 1,175.80 952.31 835.25
Houston N/A N/A 923.12 179.86 470.37 1,011.63 943.21 626.77 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 1,232.12 940.64 612.92 2,106.12 698.79 1,845.16 1,547.59 1,331.75 1,633.05 1,448.64
Independence 460.90 381.80 309.81 584.59 564.92 445.68 818.13 696.13 414.47 735.66
Insight 1,738.43 1,801.57 1,798.01 1,777.19 1,690.28 1,423.95 1,571.16 1,225.81 1,226.59 1,416.23
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 439.50 502.67
Las Vegas 1,318.14 408.33 668.78 345.28 421.74 766.57 527.43 472.05 647.41 323.58
Liberty 1,003.56 723.58 766.93 997.44 817.06 944.98 1,137.04 1,161.31 588.30 471.04
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 324.03 359.91 504.73 377.72 651.57 437.13
Micron PC.com 406.00 1,151.93 1,293.62 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 349.84 1,010.91 297.73 157.79 385.69 191.29 368.26 466.09 359.43 246.14
Music City 331.14 531.73 416.63 709.39 706.60 462.30 565.14 714.33 287.00 353.53
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 524.47 511.44
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 1,026.25 684.29 477.72 334.72 287.86 330.37 609.61
Oahu 3,012.50 1,270.50 4,658.50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 883.07 1,086.26 991.30 707.28 2,106.81 240.85 2,119.11 868.32 948.15 1,205.45
Outback 971.59 764.38 756.62 756.62 649.45 701.57 899.16 701.57 887.37 997.65
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 587.35 352.64
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,924.81 1,675.89 1,730.69
Rose 990.34 1,163.52 1,617.19 2,117.25 1,231.63 1,122.54 1,806.68 695.08 1,122.54 1,004.08
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 1,757.49 1,574.78 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 759.95 1,260.29 1,296.04 245.97 2,267.72 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 676.85 610.31 701.90 438.10 463.21 395.50 599.06 344.90 535.07 2,375.18
Sun 706.00 1,521.90 1,117.54 1,509.80 1,598.51 1,521.90 949.15 1,151.98 1,384.94 1,693.86
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,172.12 131.63

Source of data: Mapquest.com and ask.com. N/A ( not applicable) indicates the game was not played in that particular year.

Improved Winning Percentage (Impct): The regular season winning percentage (including a conference championship game, when applicable) of each team minus its winning percentage from the previous season (including a bowl game, when applicable). The two scores are averaged for this variable (Figure B). It is designed to measure how a team performed compared to expectation, something that would theoretically affect the enthusiasm of the fans and influence their decision to travel.

Improved Winning Percentage:

Regular Season Winning Percentage – Previous year’s total winning percentage

2007-’08 BCS Championship Game: Ohio State vs. LSU

Ohio State

2007 Regular Season = 11-1 = .917

2006-’07 Season = 12-1 = .923

Improved Winning Percentage = .917-.923 = -.006

LSU

2007 Regular Season = 11-2 = .846

2006-’07 Season = 11-2 = .846

Improved Winning Percentage = .846 – .846 = 0

2007-’08 BCS Championship Improved Winning Percentage:

(-.006+0)/2 = -.003

Figure B. Example of Improved Winning Percentage

Market Strength (Market): A measurement of the support for college football in a participating team’s area based on the number of D1-FBS institutions are located in the same state as the participating team. For example, a team from Texas would have a market strength rating of 10 because there are 10 D1-FBS teams in the state of Texas (Table 6). A team from Oklahoma would have a market strength rating of three for the same reason. Therefore, a bowl game played between the University of Tulsa and Texas A&M would have a market strength rating of 6.5.

Table 6
Market Strength

Bowl Market Strength (averaged between the two participating teams)
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 3.0 6.5 2.0 6.0 2.0 3.0 5.5 3.0 6.0 6.5
Aloha 2.5 3.0 1.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6.0 5.0 6.0 3.0 5.0
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 7.5 6.5
Capital One 3.5 6.0 4.5 4.5 3.5 3.0 3.5 2.5 1.5 6.0
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 4.0 26.0 5.0 2.5 2.5 3.0 3.0
Chick-fil-A 2.0 2.5 3.5 4.5 3.0 3.0 7.0 6.0 2.0 4.0
Cotton 6.5 6.0 3.0 2.5 7.5 2.5 7.0 7.0 3.0 1.5
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 7.0 2.0
Fiesta 5.5 2.5 3.0 2.5 7.5 5.0 3.0 6.0 2.5 2.5
Gator 3.0 4.5 2.0 4.5 4.5 2.0 4.5 2.5 2.0 6.0
GMAC N/A 7.5 6.5 3.5 2.0 5.0 6.0 9.0 5.5 5.5
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 7.5 5.5 5.5 4.5 1.5 3.5
Holiday 1.5 2.0 6.0 6.0 2.0 6.0 8.5 2.5 8.5 6.0
Houston N/A N/A 7.5 10.0 3.0 6.0 6.5 6.0 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 2.5 2.0 6.0 3.5 2.0 2.5 4.5 1.5 4.5 4.5
Independence 6.5 3.0 6.5 3.0 2.0 1.5 5.0 1.5 3.5 3.5
Insight 1.5 2.0 2.5 2.5 2.5 4.5 3.0 1.5 5.5 3.5
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6.5 2.5
Las Vegas 6.0 5.0 2.0 5.0 4.5 2.0 4.0 5.0 2.5 5.0
Liberty 4.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 6.5 3.0 2.5 5.0 6.0 5.0
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.0 2.5 3.0 6.0 1.5 3.0
MicronPC.com 6.0 2.5 3.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 2.0 2.5 5.0 8.0 4.5 5.5 4.5 6.0 4.5 4.5
Music City 3.0 2.5 2.5 1.5 1.5 2.5 2.0 1.5 2.0 4.5
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 4.5 2.0
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 6.5 9.0 7.0 6.5 2.5 7.0 5.5
Oahu 2.5 1.5 2.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 5.0 4.5 5.0 4.5 4.5 7.0 5.0 5.0 4.0 2.0
Outback 3.0 3.0 5.0 5.0 6.0 4.5 1.5 4.5 3.5 2.5
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6.0 5.0
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.5 6.5 2.5
Rose 4.0 4.0 3.0 7.0 2.5 6.0 7.5 8.5 6.0 5.0
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 4.5 3.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 5.0 6.0 4.5 7.0 3.5 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 9.0 4.5 7.0 4.0 4.5 4.0 3.0 2.0 4.5 1.5
Sun 8.5 1.5 4.0 3.0 3.0 1.5 3.0 5.0 1.5 4.5
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.5 10.0

Sources: U.S. Department of Education N/A ( not applicable) indicates the game was not played in that particular year.

Notice (Notice): The number of days between the date of a team’s last regular season or conference championship game and the date of its bowl game. The notice for the two teams is averaged together for this variable. The theory is that the longer notice fans have, the more likely they are to travel to a bowl game (Table 7).

Table 7
Notice

Bowl Notice (averaged between the two participating teams)
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 31.0 35.0 33.5 35.0 28.0 34.0 35.5 36.0 39.0 39.0
Aloha 31.0 31.5 30.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 20.5 30.0 27.0 28.5 37.5
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 44 44.0
Capital One 33.5 35.0 37.0 31.0 39.0 33.0 39.0 41.0 37.0 42.0
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 22.5 30.0 30.0 24.0 31.0 34.0 34.0
Chick-fil-A 33.0 37.5 34.5 30.0 31.0 37.5 34.0 30.5 35.0 37.0
Cotton 31.0 27.0 33.5 38.5 33.0 38.5 32.0 44.0 37.0 35.0
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 31.0 39.5 33.0 36.5 28.5 30.5
Fiesta 37.0 42.0 40.5 31.0 34.0 34.0 35.0 40.5 33.5 32.0
Gator 33.5 31.5 40.5 31.0 35.5 33.0 39.5 30.0 30.0 41.5
GMAC N/A 29.0 26.0 22.5 14.5 17.0 27.0 27.0 37.5 39.5
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 24.5 22.5 23.5 25.0 25.5 29.5
Holiday 33.0 39.0 38.0 30.5 31.0 35.0 29.5 36.5 35.0 31.0
Houston N/A N/A 36.0 28.0 27.0 31.0 28.5 42.0 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 34.0 40.0 40.0 34.0 38.0 38.5 38.0 36.5 37.0 34.5
Independence 37.5 35.0 37.5 30.5 28.5 32.5 26.0 36.0 36.5 36.5
Insight 32.0 35.0 37.0 35.0 29.5 30.5 33.5 31.5 41.0 41.0
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 43.0 39.5
Las Vegas 24.5 28.0 27.0 31.0 21.5 25.0 26.0 33.0 27.0 21.0
Liberty 30.5 37.5 42.0 30.5 31.0 36.0 30.5 28.5 31.0 32.0
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 28.0 28.0 36.5 31.5 32.5 35.0
MicronPC.com 27.5 40.0 36.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 25.5 30.5 32.0 28.5 22.5 28.0 28.5 27.5 28.5 32.0
Music City 34.5 35.5 34.5 30.5 30.0 39.0 44.5 37.5 34.0 37.0
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 24.5 24.5
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 24.0 17.5 19.0 18.0 24.0 23.5 23.5
Oahu 27.0 31.5 29.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 38.5 35.0 39.0 39.0 40.0 33.0 31.0 38.0 31.0 36.5
Outback 37.5 38.0 44.0 41.5 36.0 36.5 38.5 40.0 41.0 38.0
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 28.0 28.0
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 26.0 21.0 22.5
Rose 34.0 42.0 44.0 37.0 25.0 33.0 39.0 32.5 37.0 38.0
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 26.0 33.5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 39.5 30.0 28.5 34.5 40.0 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 34.5 42.0 34.5 32.0 28.5 29.0 30.0 30.0 39.5 34.5
Sun 36.5 41.0 37.5 37.0 38.0 42.5 38.0 34.0 30.5 33.5
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 33.0 34.0

Source of data: Division 1A Historical Scores, jhowell.net. N/A ( not applicable) indicates the game was not played in that particular year.

November Winning Percentage (Novpct): The winning percentage of a team in games played during November or the first week of December (Table 8).

Table 8
November Winning Percentage

Bowl November Winning Percentage (averaged between the two participating teams)
1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 0.875 0.333 0.500 0.625 0.425 0.375 0.500 0.583 0.167 0.500
Aloha 0.500 0.666 0.333 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.875 0.500 0.625 0.458 0.625
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.000 0.733
Capital One 0.625 0.750 0.666 0.667 0.875 0.675 1.000 0.667 0.800 0.667
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 0.875 0.750 0.292 0.583 0.625 0.625 0.533
Chick-fil-A 0.583 0.583 0.833 0.576 0.800 0.875 0.750 0.775 0.833 0.666
Cotton 0.633 0.500 0.875 0.750 0.625 0.625 0.417 0.500 0.708 0.775
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.433 0.500 0.833 0.583 0.625 0.625
Fiesta 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.875 0.875 1.000 1.000 0.775
Gator 0.875 0.625 0.583 0.500 0.375 1.000 0.500 0.750 0.600 0.666
GMAC N/A 0.833 0.500 0.567 0.650 0.750 0.708 0.583 0.775 0.900
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.567 0.550 0.650 0.800 0.650 0.750
Holiday 0.833 0.666 0.833 0.625 0.875 0.750 0.833 0.875 0.417 0.583
Houston N/A N/A 0.500 0.333 0.625 0.625 0.708 0.833 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 1.000 0.750 0.833 0.500 0.625 0.625 0.750 0.708 0.500 0.625
Independence 0.375 0.542 0.576 0.625 0.250 0.650 0.708 0.500 0.125 0.167
Insight 0.667 0.500 0.642 0.708 0.625 0.575 0.500 0.500 0.833 0.458
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.583 0.583
Las Vegas 0.875 0.666 0.625 0.750 0.625 0.625 0.333 0.500 0.625 0.625
Liberty 0.875 1.000 0.833 0.775 0.666 1.000 1.000 0.576 0.750 0.833
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.750 0.550 0.708 0.675 0.750 0.500
MicronPC.com 0.708 1.000 0.500 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 1.000 0.667 0.875 0.750 0.800 0.550 0.708 0.625 0.625 0.300
Music City 0.500 0.333 0.500 0.542 0.833 0.417 0.167 0.500 0.542 0.417
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.467 0.500
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 0.708 0.917 0.875 0.600 0.500 0.900 0.750
Oahu 0.667 0.708 0.333 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 0.708 1.000 1.000 0.868 1.000 0.675 1.000 0.625 0.800 0.875
Outback 0.583 0.417 0.333 0.708 0.750 0.750 0.500 0.666 0.583 0.733
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.750 0.750
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.542 0.833 0.833
Rose 0.708 1.000 0.750 0.833 0.708 1.000 0.917 1.000 0.750 1.000
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 0.600 0.292 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 0.875 0.700 0.750 0.400 0.750 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 0.708 1.000 0.875 1.000 0.800 0.900 1.000 0.875 0.875 1.000
Sun 0.666 1.000 0.667 0.433 0.708 0.708 0.666 0.583 0.567 0.425
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.583 0.750

Stadium Size (Stadium): The seating capacity of the stadium when used for football games (Table 9).

Table 9
Stadiums

Bowl Years Stadium Capacity
Alamo 1993-Present Alamo Dome 65000
Aloha 1982-2000 Aloha Stadium 50000
Armed Forces 2003-Present Amon G. Carter Stadium 43000
BCS 2006-’07 University of Phoenix Stadium 73000
BCS 2007-’08 Louisiana Superdome 72500
Capital One 1986-Present Florida Citrus Bowl 65438
Champs Sports 2002-Present Florida Citrus Bowl 65438
Chick-fil-A 1993-Present Georgia Dome 71990
Cotton 1938-Present Cotton Bowl 71252
Emerald 2002-Present AT&T Park 38437
Fiesta 1971-’06 Sun Devil Stadium 73397
Fiesta 2007-Present University of Phoenix Stadium 73000
Gator 1997-Present Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 77000
GMAC 1999-Present Ladd-Peebles Stadium 40048
Hawaii 2002-Present Aloha Stadium 50000
Holiday 1978-Present Qualcomm Stadium 66000
Houston 2000-2005 Reliant Stadium 69500
Humanitarian 1997-Present Bronco Stadium 30000
Independence 1976-Present Independence Stadium 48947
Insight 1989-’99 Arizona Stadium 57803
Insight 2000-’05 Bank One Ballpark 42915
Insight 2006-Present Sun Devil Stadium 73397
International 2007-Present Rogers Center 53506
Las Vegas 1992-Present Sam Boyd Stadium 40000
Liberty 1965-Present Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 62598
Meinecke 2002-Present Bank of America Stadium 73298
MicronPC.com 1996-2001 Joe Robbie Stadium 77823
Motor City 1997-’01 Pontiac Silverdome 80368
Motor City 2002-Present Ford Field 65000
Music City 1998-Present LP Field 68000
New Mexico 2006-Present University Stadium 38634
New Orleans 2001-Present Louisiana Superdome 72500
Oahu 1998-’00 Aloha Stadium 50000
Orange 1996-Present Dolphin Stadium 77823
Outback 1998-Present Raymond James Stadium 65500
Papajohns.com 2006-Present Legion Field 72000
Poinsettia 2005-Present Qualcomm Stadium 66000
Rose 1943-Present Rose Bowl 91887
Seattle 2001-’02 Seahawks Stadium 67000
Silicon Valley 2000-’04 Spartan Stadium 30000
Sugar 1975-’05, 2007-Present Louisiana Superdome 72500
Sugar 2006 Georgia Dome 71990
Sun 1963-Present Sun Bowl Stadium 50426
Texas 2006-Present Reliant Stadium 69500

Data is from NCAA.com. N/A ( not applicable) indicates the game was not played in that particular year.

Winning Percentage (Wpct) — The percentage of games won by each team in the regular season (including conference championship games, when applicable), averaged together (Table 10).

Table 10
Winning Percentage (averaged between the two participating teams)

Bowl 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 0.792 0.739 0.773 0.591 0.615 0.708 0.636 0.636 0.625 0.625
Aloha 0.682 0.545 0.545 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.920 0.545 0.591 0.625 0.625
BCS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.962 0.881
Capital One 0.784 0.784 0.739 0.780 0.708 0.760 0.818 0.826 0.843 0.708
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A 0.591 0.576 0.542 0.545 0.610 0.671 0.676
Chick-fil-A 0.773 0.682 0.727 0.576 0.718 0.750 0.682 0.826 0.718 0.667
Cotton 0.697 0.626 0.748 0.735 0.833 0.750 0.693 0.576 0.763 0.756
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.679 0.583 0.727 0.591 0.542 0.583
Fiesta 0.958 1.000 0.864 0.871 1.000 0.810 0.864 0.826 0.923 0.833
Gator 0.818 0.697 0.864 0.682 0.769 0.708 0.818 0.576 0.763 0.708
GMAC N/A 0.727 0.773 0.689 0.708 0.837 0.727 0.727 0.654 0.679
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.676 0.599 0.610 0.697 0.676 0.708
Holiday 0.833 0.773 0.818 0.780 0.724 0.792 0.682 0.746 0.750 0.792
Houston N/A N/A 0.610 0.591 0.583 0.625 0.655 0.773 N/A N/A
Humanitarian 0.682 0.693 0.773 0.591 0.728 0.583 0.727 0.739 0.583 0.625
Independence 0.545 0.636 0.576 0.591 0.542 0.666 0.606 0.591 0.500 0.500
Insight 0.682 0.636 0.682 0.648 0.667 0.641 0.545 0.591 0.542 0.542
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.625 0.583
Las Vegas 0.591 0.697 0.564 0.591 0.561 0.625 0.545 0.591 0.708 0.667
Liberty 0.846 0.727 0.818 0.875 0.818 0.784 0.955 0.576 0.676 0.676
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.683 0.625 0.636 0.591 0.750 0.667
MicronPC.com 0.682 0.636 0.591 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City 0.777 0.864 0.610 0.727 0.679 0.635 0.652 0.564 0.638 0.599
Music City 0.682 0.545 0.591 0.682 0.638 0.583 0.545 0.591 0.667 0.583
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.583 0.583
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A 0.500 0.561 0.708 0.591 0.545 0.583 0.583
Oahu 0.731 0.652 0.591 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 0.773 0.826 0.958 0.864 0.875 0.826 1.000 0.788 0.881 0.881
Outback 0.682 0.636 0.682 0.682 0.576 0.708 0.818 0.682 0.739 0.760
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.625 0.667
Poinsettia 0.591 0.667 0.708 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rose 0.909 0.773 0.818 0.958 0.840 0.875 0.864 1.000 0.875 0.792
Seattle N/A N/A N/A 0.701 0.542 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A 0.682 0.696 0.599 0.558 0.682 N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 0.878 1.000 0.839 0.830 0.808 0.923 0.917 0.871 0.833 0.917
Sun 0.606 0.727 0.606 0.682 0.500 0.708 0.682 0.576 0.679 0.708
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.708 0.583

For Bowl games that are more than five years old (n = 194)

Five-year Average Attendance (FiveAtt) — The average attendance of a bowl game for the past five years (Table 11).

Table 11
Five-year Average Attendance

Bowl 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Alamo 53129.60 56142.40 60397.20 59483.40 61394.40 60422.00 59511.20 59488.20 59882.60 60011.20
Aloha 43592.00 44080.40 43302.80 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Armed Forces N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
BCS* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 74872.20 76662.60
Capital One 70171.00 68396.60 66559.80 65786.00 65031.20 63710.00 63906.20 65549.80 63608.40 63824.60
Champs Sports N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 62519.00 65549.80
Chick-fil-A 66795.40 68687.40 70370.00 70927.80 72568.80 71992.40 72442.20 71645.60 70046.80 70762.60
Cotton 65886.00 66437.20 66938.20 67988.40 68193.80 70514.20 70777.60 71373.80 73525.20 72289.60
Emerald N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 29662.60
Fiesta 72114.80 73755.00 73266.60 72379.40 74181.80 75808.80 74399.80 74798.40 74952.00 74872.20
Gator 56165.20 56882.40 53125.60 57833.40 61853.20 65728.20 67348.40 72687.60 71695.40 70795.80
GMAC N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 39181.00 40373.00 39397.40 39119.80
Hawaii N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 33978.20
Holiday 53624.40 56273.60 55806.60 58252.00 59411.80 61003.00 60152.60 61973.40 62401.00 62770.40
Houston N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 42073.80 N/A N/A
Humanitarian N/A N/A N/A N/A 24655.50 25813.60 26504.40 26351.00 27209.00 28245.00
Independence 40344.20 42952.80 47479.00 45106.80 45959.00 45086.40 45639.00 44264.40 45136.00 45021.40
Insight 45341.60 42756.00 40884.00 41045.80 40627.00 38856.60 40100.00 42131.00 42475.60 44148.20
International N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Las Vegas 15165.80 16350.00 18483.00 22080.20 26235.40 27997.40 28799.00 28966.00 31154.00 33898.20
Liberty 40229.40 46448.40 50765.60 52946.40 54907.40 55907.00 56666.40 57364.20 56682.60 56109.60
Meinecke N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 61649.80
MicronPC.com 39691.40 40865.60 36916.80 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Motor City N/A N/A N/A N/A 43496.80 45203.20 49127.20 50665.00 50206.00 52195.80
Music City N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 46579.20 49351.40 50725.00 49405.00 53784.80
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Orleans N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 23360.60 22918.00
Oahu N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Orange 74557.20 71833.80 69575.40 70502.80 72571.40 72965.20 74729.20 76219.40 76407.00 76573.00
Outback 57864.60 60535.80 59070.80 59054.00 61671.60 63328.60 63202.00 64873.00 65003.40 64873.80
Papajohns.com N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Poinsettia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rose 101088.00 99615.00 97912.00 96770.00 95399.00 92525.00 92520.00 92468.00 92386.00 92401.00
Seattle N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Silicon Valley N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sugar 73515.40 73728.60 74339.80 73164.60 73033.40 74429.40 74997.20 74611.00 76621.20 76639.80
Sun 47080.20 47633.00 47262.00 47257.40 48275.60 48238.20 48894.60 49400.80 49667.40 49851.40
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

*Figures are based on last five bowls hosted by the local committee
Data source: NCAA.com
N/A (not applicable) indicates the game was not played in that particular year.

Results

When all bowl games (n=271) were counted, six variables combined to explain 82.2 percent of the variance in attendance (r2d = .822). The variables were: Seating Capacity (Stadium), Age of the bowl (Age), Average Home Attendance of the participants (AHAtt), number of miles in travel between the location of the institutions and the bowl games (Distance), and the number of days elapsed from the end of the regular season or conference championship game to the bowl game itself (Notice), as shown in Table 12.

Table 12
Model Summary

Model R r2 Adjusted r2 Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .743a .552 .551 12822.102
2 .841b .707 .704 10399.231
3 .884c .782 .779 8983.648
4 .897d .804 .801 8524.124
5 .903e .816 .813 8279.997
6 .907f .822 .818 8156.106
a. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium
b. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium, Age
c. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium, Age, AHAtt
d. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium, Age, AHAtt, Wpct
e. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium, Age, AHAtt, Wpct, Distance
f. Predictors: (Constant), Stadium, Age, AHAtt, Wpct, Distance, Notice

Each variable had a relationship to attendance that was statistically significant at the 0.01 alpha level (p > 0.01), as noted in Table 13.

Table 13
Coefficients and Relationships

Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) -5233.704 3280.305 -1.595 .112
Stadium .944 .052 .743 18.214 .000
2 (Constant) 4910.494 2794.302 1.757 .080
Stadium .636 .049 .501 12.887 .000
Age 318.709 26.845 .461 11.872 .000
3 (Constant) -2534.098 2535.494 -.999 .318
Stadium .527 .044 .415 11.947 .000
Age 237.622 24.682 .344 9.627 .000
AHAtt .294 .031 .327 9.598 .000
4 (Constant) -18954.895 3822.348 -4.959 .000
Stadium .485 .043 .382 11.401 .000
Age 190.531 24.920 .276 7.646 .000
AHAtt .270 .029 .301 9.216 .000
Wpct 30760.395 5564.072 .184 5.528 .000
5 (Constant) -16058.380 3779.075 -4.249 .000
Stadium .448 .042 .353 10.583 .000
Age 189.036 24.209 .274 7.808 .000
AHAtt .271 .029 .302 9.515 .000
Wpct 34305.556 5473.019 .205 6.268 .000
Distance -3.142 .764 -.112 -4.113 .000
6 (Constant) -24353.011 4626.876 -5.263 .000
Stadium .455 .042 .358 10.885 .000
Age 178.672 24.093 .259 7.416 .000
AHAtt .238 .030 .265 7.904 .000
Wpct 34631.879 5392.212 .207 6.423 .000
Distance -3.240 .753 -.115 -4.303 .000
Notice 299.769 99.308 .089 3.019 .003

Dependent Variable: Attendance

So a formula that would explain the variance in bowl attendance would look something like this:

S = Seating Capacity

A = Age of the bowl

T = Average Home Attendance of the Participating teams (The sum Average Home Attendance of each team divided by two)

W = Winning Percentage (the sum of the regular season winning percentages of the two participating teams, including conference championship games when applicable, divided by two).

D = Travel distance (the sum of the travel distance between each participating institution’s home city and the city hosting the bowl game, divided by two)

N = Notice (the sum of the number of days between the last regular season game or conference championship game of each team and the bowl game, divided by two)

Bowl Attendance = .455S + 172.672A + 34631.879W – 3.24D + 299.769N – 24353.011.

On bowls that were at least six years old (n = 194), the five-year attendance average was included as an independent variable. Five variables; Five Year Average Attendance (FiveAtt, Travel Distance (Distance), Winning Percentage (Wpct), Average Home Attendance (AHAtt), and Seating Capacity (Stadium); combined to explain 91 percent of the variance in attendance (r2d = .910), as can be observed in Table 14.

Table 14
Model Summary Bowls that are at least Six Years Old

Model R
VAR00021 > 5 (Selected) r2 Adjusted r2 Std. Error of the Estimate
1 .939a .883 .882 5893.063
2 .946b .894 .893 5604.919
3 .949c .901 .899 5451.683
4 .952d .906 .904 5301.487
5 .954e .910 .908 5202.987
a. Predictors: (Constant), FiveAtt
b. Predictors: (Constant), FiveAtt, Distance
c. Predictors: (Constant), FiveAtt, Distance, Wpct
d. Predictors: (Constant), FiveAtt, Distance, Wpct, AHAtt
e. Predictors: (Constant), FiveAtt, Distance, Wpct, AHAtt, Stadium

As in the previous formula, all variables had a relationship with attendance that was statistically significant (Table 1) at the 0.01 alpha level (p < 0.01).

Table 15
Coefficients and Relationships for bowls at least six years old.

Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1 (Constant) 6456.892 1446.943 4.462 .000
FiveAtt .917 .024 .939 37.981 .000
2 (Constant) 9579.045 1533.840 6.245 .000
FiveAtt .913 .023 .935 39.696 .000
Distance -2.996 .650 -.109 -4.610 .000
3 (Constant) 2699.321 2491.405 1.083 .280
FiveAtt .846 .029 .867 28.691 .000
Distance -3.401 .643 -.123 -5.290 .000
Wpct 15344.128 4450.253 .105 3.448 .001
4 (Constant) 537.570 2502.378 .215 .830
FiveAtt .788 .033 .807 23.629 .000
Distance -3.253 .627 -.118 -5.190 .000
Wpct 15823.608 4329.875 .108 3.655 .000
AHAtt .082 .024 .097 3.452 .001
5 (Constant) -3309.442 2798.385 -1.183 .238
FiveAtt .690 .047 .707 14.603 .000
Distance -2.909 .627 -.105 -4.641 .000
Wpct 15173.014 4255.479 .104 3.566 .000
AHAtt .090 .023 .106 3.847 .000
Stadium .142 .050 .117 2.868 .005

The formula for bowls that are at least six years old would include:

S = Seating Capacity

T = Average Home Attendance of the Participating teams (The sum Average Home Attendance of each team divided by two)

W = Winning Percentage (the sum of the regular season winning percentages of the two participating teams, including conference championship games when applicable, divided by two).

D = Travel distance (the sum of the travel distance between each participating institution’s home city and the city hosting the bowl game, divided by two)

F = Average attendance over the past five years.

Attendance = 0.690F – 2.909D + 15173.014W + 0.09T + .142S – 3309.442

Discussion

Bowl committees will publicly state that they invite the most deserving teams more so than those that will bring the highest attendance. It is easy to see why the latter option would be more tempting. On table 12, where all bowls are included, it shows that average home attendance accounts for 7.5 percent of the variance in bowl attendance, while winning percentage only accounts for 2.2 percent. This can be figured from the r2d numbers on step 2, a formula that does not include Average Home Attendance but explains 70.7 percent of the variance, but step 3, which adds Average Home Attendance explains 78.2 percent of the variance, a difference of 7.5 percent. Step 4, which adds winning percentage, explains 80.4 percent of the variance, a difference of 2.2 percent. In Table 14, where only bowls that are at least six years old are studied, winning percentage accounts for 0.7 percent of the variance while Average Home Attendance accounts for 0.5. Notice, which theoretically would become an issue with the increasing number of bowl games played before Christmas and the later invitation dates brought about by the BCS and conference championship games, was not a factor in the bowls that were six years old or more and only explained .6 % of the variance in bowls overall.

Future Studies

Since the adjusted r2 for the first formula is .818, this means the average accuracy of any prediction on bowl attendance would be 81.8 percent (.908/90.8 percent on the second formula). Future studies could focus on bowls that exceed their expected attendance with a qualitative look at the marketing methods used by these bowls compared to other bowls that do not fare as well. Conferences and teams whose bowl appearances draw larger crowds than expected could also be studied.

The second formula, that takes five-year attendance averages into account, could be used by bowl committees to set goals for attendance each year. Since the bowls do not know until December who their participants will be, setting a goal based on this formula’s expectation and using it to measure improvement would be more reasonable.

References

Hardy, Stephen, Bernard J. Mullin and William A. Sutton (2003). Sports Marketing (pp. 55-75). Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

Official Website of the NCAA. Retrieved May 13, 2008 from Ncaa.com.

Ask.com. Retrieved May16, 2008 from Ask.com.

Mapquest. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from Mapquest.com.

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