The 2013 Louisville Home Schedule was the highest attended in Cardinal History. The Cards finished 12-1 on the season and experienced fabulous weather throughout the season.
The fan experience at PJCS is still developing. There are proposed plans to develop the North End Zone (open end) and increase the stadium’s capacity beyond it’s current 55,000. Louisville Football is looking to expand for fan demand during an era when attendance around the country has been on decline with the experience of Television becoming more of a preferred option with its low cost and flexibility. But while the Nation is falling more and more in love with the recliner, Louisville Fans are falling more and more in love with Football. And that’s going to continue moving into the ACC.
Let’s Compare the 2013 Schedule to the 2014 slate:
Clearly the teams coming to Louisville in 2014 are MUCH more high-profile than in 2013. Still, Louisville’s highest attended game last season was the home opener versus Ohio. The Cards were fresh off a Sugar Bowl victory and the anticipation for the season was at a fever pitch.
In any given season the stakes get higher as the season goes along. But on the other hand as the season goes along the weather deteriorates as well. The interesting thing about the 2014 season is that Florida State (the defending national champion) and in-state rival Kentucky are the final two home games for the season. This creates a lot of opportunity for UofL to push an already record average attendance per game of 52,913.7 higher from 2013 to 2014. The Cards can’t actually put more butts in seats this coming year because Louisville is playing just 6 home games as opposed to 7 from a year prior.
But just because UofL has lost a home game off its schedule for 2014 doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. Murray State is the only ‘gimme’ on the home slate and the savings afford to Card fans who don’t have to buy the 7th ticket can reallocate those funds to the ACC Championship fund and/or the Bowl Game/College Football Playoff Fund. One quick side note to Louisville’s schedule is that the Cards final conference game is actually very early on 11/8 at Boston College and the last home conference game is 10/30 versus Florida State. That’s a BIG Change for 2014.
In any event, Louisville’s first season in the ACC is going to be HOTLY anticipated. Should Louisville expand it’s capacity? Will 2014 signal a fresh new demand for Cardinal Football seats or is it a one-time demand increase? Time will tell, but I do think that a small expansion to close the North End Zone is most certainly on the horizon.
Louisville also has plans for the South Side of Papa John’s with an Academic Center to be built for all student athletes. The Howard Schellenberger Complex on the North Side also is soon to be expanded as well.