The Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. was memorable, but probably not for the reason that bowl organizers would like.
The extremely sparse crowd didn’t get too involved in the game except the few that traveled from their respective institutions. Although the Bowling Green Falcons only had to travel from Ohio, their counterparts the San Jose State Spartans, had a cross-country journey to make to be a part of this one.
Not to mention the weather, which was cold and uncomfortable.
Originally the Military Bowl was supposed to feature an ACC team against the Army Knights, but after Army wasn’t able to become bowl eligible and not enough ACC teams qualified for bowls, the Military Bowl had to resort to more of a “plan B” and take two schools that aren’t even in the top-100 in attendance in the FBS.
Military Bowl President Steve Beck made a statement saying, “We knew the attendance might not be the greatest, with a West Coast team and a cold, windy day. That’s not what we’re about. We’re about more than that.”
But it’s not just the Military Bowl. In fact, attendance figures for bowl games are down all around the board. Compared to last season, bowl attendance for the first 11 bowl games is down seven percent. Compared to 2010, it’s down 10 percent.
Only two bowls, the New Orleans Bowl and the Potato Bowl have seen an improvement in attendance.
The crowd for the game on Thursday was the lowest since the 2005 Hawai’i Bowl had 16,134 because it was the first year that they didn’t feature the Hawai’i Warriors in the game.