By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Super Bulldog Weekend was a resounding success, and the numbers reflect that.
The annual event, which is centered around the Maroon-White spring football game, a three-game baseball series, and a host of on-campus and off-campus activities, was held last week. And Mississippi State fans turned out in droves.
“We’ve had 28 of them now, and we’ve obviously had some big ones before, and this one was right up there with any of them we had in the past,” MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said.
The school announced an attendance of 21,000 at the spring football game, which was lower than in the past due to expansion work that shut down the north and west sides of Davis Wade Stadium.
In the baseball series against Auburn, MSU drew a total of 32,679 fans, including 14,562 for Saturday’s finale. That’s the second-largest crowd in Dudy Noble Field history, and the second-largest on-campus crowd in NCAA baseball history.
In fact, Saturday’s draw means MSU can boast the 10 largest on-campus crowds in NCAA history. The largest was 14,991, against Florida in 1989.
A team spokesman said the only attendance figure MSU uses this season is paid attendance, as opposed to actual attendance. But Dudy Noble was most certainly packed out all weekend, with standing room only on Saturday.
Under fifth-year coach John Cohen, MSU has gone from the league cellar to back-to-back NCAA postseason appearances and an SEC Tournament championship last year. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 16th in the country and tied for third in the Western Division.
“Obviously the more consistently you have success, the more the crowds build,” Stricklin said. “Getting to the number we got to this year, probably what happened the last two years played a big role into that.”
Last season, MSU ranked sixth in the country in attendance, averaging 6,131 fans per game.
MSU lost the Gator Bowl to Northwestern on Jan. 1, but the school was a winner on the financial side.
According to documents obtained by the Journal, the school made $87,164.94 in net revenue over expenses. That included a $2.2 million payout by the bowl, of which MSU took home $1,446,000 after the SEC’s share, travel allowances, and tickets absorbed.
“The way our league structures our bowl payments, we make money whether we go to a bowl game or not,” Stricklin said, then noted that the revenue made off the Gator Bowl itself goes into the athletic department’s general operating budget.
Cost of logos
Logos can be expensive.
In this month’s Institutions of Higher Learning board book, an item up for approval was the cost of attorney’s fees for MSU to keep its logos current. In all, the university had to dole out $8,658.75 this year for 10 logos used by the school and/or athletic department.
The most expensive, at $2,180, was the MState logo, while the least expensive was the Paw Print ($360).