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Dan Mullen confirms spring game attendance numbers are ridiculous

For the last few years, I have taken it upon myself to keep a record of attendance figures from spring games around the country. tracking these numbers was more a product of curiosity how fanbases between conferences compared against each other with the expectation that fans in the SEC would be more likely to be enthusiastic about a spring game compared to fans located in colder regions up north or in other regions more affected by cold weather during the transition from winter to spring. As I went about this project for the last few years, I came to one conclusion that was pretty well known; a lot of schools just make up their spring game numbers.

Not every school keeps a legitimate count of spring game attendance for a handful of reasons. Most schools simply open the doors to the stadium and let anyone who wants to come in to come through the ticket gates. Some schools will provide a rough estimate, and I can’t tell you how many times schools have had spring crowds rounded to the nearest thousand right on the dot over the years. Some schools opt not to even provide a rough estimate by simply saying they don’t track attendance. Some defend that decision by emphasizing they do not sell tickets for the game. Others will make sure you know they packed the house and sold tickets for the event.

Hey, whatever floats your boat. I’m not here to judge. But we all know the vast majority of spring game attendance figures are little more than rough estimates, sometimes created to make themselves look good compared to their peers. At Florida, at least Dan Mullen is man enough to admit the spring game figures are based loosely on fiction.

That mythical attendance figure is a nod to the final score of last season’s regular-season finale against Florida State, a 41-14 domination of the Seminoles in Tallahassee in Mullen’s first year in charge of the Gators. The win by the Gators brought an unceremonious end to Florida State’s bowl streak.

Mullen’s second spring as head coach of the Gators will wrap up this Saturday with the Florida spring game. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the attendance figure reported by the Gators this weekend.

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