For a team that until recent years, had a history of never turning anybody away at the gate. As some rider priders can remember the days of squeezing over 30,000 people into our little 27,000 seat stadium on labour day. This year saw the complete opposite of the teams earlier mantra, as 8 of the 11 home games were completely sold out and rider faithful were repeatedly turned away at the gates. Next year we'll have to lobby to get more away games in July, when it's harder to draw the farmers away from their fields ( all 3 non-sellout crowds were in July ).
Going over the attendance this year the Riders sold 310,083 tickets to their 11 home games for an average of 28,189 fans per game in a stadium with 28,800 capacity. This means that only 6717 tickets went unsold all season and represents a 97.9% season sellout.
Can you feel the swelling of pride coming off the sea of green? In the end, that ranks us 5th in average attendance, and with the home playoff game edging us past Calgary, 4th in total attendance. Not too shabby considering the ridiculous contrast in the size of the market's we're in.
But, now, let's move on to my next subject. Away attendance. Each team has to play in everyone else's park, and, the rivalries should even out so we should see that the away attendance should be somewhat even across the league.
Not the case. Well, mostly the case, with one anomaly. Average away crowds were close, with 7 teams having average crowds between 27509 (Hamilton) to 29229 (Calgary). But, when the Riders come to town, the average crowd swells to 33985!! Over 4500 more tickets are sold on average to a Saskatchewan away game than any other team!
Rider Pride, Nationwide.
Not including the Grey Cup, there have been 683,915 CFL game tickets sold this year that featured the roughriders as a participant. Edmonton sits second with 648,812 and BC 647,898. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the hottest ticket in town and this year's top draw. Love 'em or hate 'em, you just have to be there to see it.
It's no surprise that the players and coaches and management have spent the year repeating their thanks towards the fans. They're loud, they're proud, they've sold 2 playoff games out of beer so far this year (note to T.O. -- Get more beer, preferably Pilsner). That little sea of green that invades even the most hostile environment to show their support.
Best fans in the CFL? Good fans aren't arrogant, are they?
On a side note. Edmonton had the league's best average attendance at home by far at 36,324 to 2nd place BC at 33,830. They crushed the rest of the league in regular season attendance, but had zero attendance in the postseason, for the second year in a row.