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Buoyed by a turnaround season, Purdue bucked a trend in college football by increasing attendance by more 13,000 fans per game in 2017 — and, in the process, banked an extra $2.5 million in revenue compared with 2016.
Attendance at the FBS level was down overall last season by 1,409 fans per game, according to NCAA stats. CBS Sports reported it was the largest year-to-year decrease since 1983.
While media rights deals with television networks bring hundreds of millions of dollars into major college football programs, the bulk of which goes to schools in the Power Five, game-day revenue is still important.
Purdue, for example, made more than $8,700,479 in revenue for its six home games in 2017, according to the school. That was an increase of $2,563,903 over 2016, when the Boilermakers played seven games at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Behind first-year coach Jeff Brohm, Purdue went 7-6 last season after winning a total of eight games in the previous three years. Attendance at Ross-Ade rose by 13,433 per game — from 34,451 in 2016 to 47,884 in 2017. That was the largest gain by average per game in FBS, and there is still room for the Boilermakers to add. Capacity for Ross-Ade is listed at 57,236.