UTEP Football’s Low Attendance Is Not a Concern Yet
The UTEP football team drew its lowest attendance in 25 years for a home game at the Sun Bowl. Last Saturday night, only 12,809 fans showed up to watch the Miners nearly upset North Texas. You have to go all the way back to November 13th 1993 to find a smaller Sun Bowl crowd. That night UTEP was destroyed 54-0 by Colorado State and the team finished 1-11. They also had a coaching change mid-season when David Lee was replaced by Charlie Bailey.
Fast forward to 2018 and UTEP is still searching for their first win of the season for new head coach Dana Dimel. The Miners have been so close to ending their losing streak in program history, but costly mistakes have kept them winless. Still, every fan that has watched a UTEP game this season knows that the team has no quit and they are improving each week.
Their effort on the field has not put butts in the Sun Bowl. In fact, UTEP is averaging 16,498 fans over their first three home games. FBS teams have to meet minimum game attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game). If they draw the same number of people that they had last Saturday at the Sun Bowl for their final three games, the average attendance will finish at 14,654. The good news is that the minimum attendance requirements are through a two-year rolling period. Last season, UTEP averaged 19,548 fans in five home dates. The fact that we are even bringing up this minimum attendance issue in the first place is a concern for a football program trying to find its identity with a new coaching staff and Director of Athletics.