Bowl attendance is way down

The only thing more eye-popping than Florida's no-show performance in its 33-23 Allstate Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville was how many Florida fans no-showed for the game.

Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News has a story on overall bowl attendance being down 5 percent this season, and it was most glaring in New Orleans on Wednesday night. The Sugar Bowl's announced crowd of 54,178 was the game's worst since 1939, and the smallest ever for a BCS bowl.

In other words, don't expect to see the Gators back on Bourbon Street any time soon if the Sugar Bowl has anything to do with it. Florida reportedly sold about 7,000 tickets of its 17,500 allotment. Louisville sold about 15,000.

The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl drew more fans this season than the Sugar Bowl. According to Solomon, this was the third time in the past four years the Sugar Bowl crowd was below 70,000, which had happened only twice from 1975 to 2009. Florida has now played in five of the past seven Sugar Bowls with crowds under 70,000.

The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, which saw Northwestern defeat Mississippi State, also saw a decline in attendance. The crowd of 48,612 was its second smallest since 1960. The Capital One Bowl's announced crowd of 59,712 for Georgia-Nebraska was its fourth-lowest in the past 24 years.