By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An exciting football team, a couple of new traditions and several popular promotions helped Tennessee Tech in 2013 attract the largest average home attendance for Golden Eagle football in 27 years.
For Tech's six home games in Tucker Stadium, the Golden Eagles played in front of a total of 51,106 fans in the stands, an average of 8,518 per game. It surpassed the average of the 2011 season of 8,407, when the Golden Eagles captured a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title.
This year's average was the highest since 1987, and the sixth largest overall attendance in the stadium's 48-year history.
It was also an increase of more than 1,500 fans per game over last year's average.
"We are grateful to the Tennessee Tech fans and students for their loyal support at games this season," said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. "This was an exciting team, and our fans were fantastic this year in supportong the team and coach (Watson) Brown.
"Our home schedule featured several events and some new traditions, and the outstanding attendance tells us these are the types of events and promotions that our fans enjoy," Wilson said.
One new tradition was the pregame Golden Eagle Walk through the 98.5 Kiss FM Tailgate Park, when fans could greet the entire team as they moved to the stadium to prepare for the game. Another was a specially designed camouflage uniform for Military Appreciation Day.
Among the special events were the annual Homecoming/Hall of Fame game, and Family Weekend, plus the Golden Eagle Blackout II.
The largest home crowd of the year was 11,807 for the season opener against Cumberland on Thursday, Aug. 29, when Tech hosted Communiversity Night and First Tennessee Bank Poster Night.
Tech also topped 10,000 for the game with Tennessee State on Sept. 21, when the TSU Marching Band joined the Golden Eagle Marching Band.
Tech had a crowd of 8,970 for Faith, Family and Youth Night for the game against Indiana State on Sept. 28, a Golden Eagle win that was followed with a free concert by Judah and the Lion.
Tech's second Thursday night contest, Oct. 10 against UT Martin, featured the second Golden Eagle Blackout and drew a crowd of 7,222. Following a three-week break, the final game of the season drew 4,110 for Tech's victory over Austin Peay on Nov. 23.
Tech ranked fifth in the OVC in average home attendance. The top three were all teams that reached the FCS playoffs -- Jacksonville State (15,814), Tennessee State (11,462) and Eastern Illinois (9,482). Eastern Kentucky (8,617) edged Tech by 99 fans per game for fourth place. Tech was 75 fans per game above the OVC average home attendance of 8,443.