Over/Under: 3.5 Home Games with 100,000+ Fans
Through the summer, we’ll pose over/under scenarios for the upcoming Penn State football season and share our prediction.
We also want to hear from you. Tag us on social media (@HappyValleyPSU) and let us know what you think.
Next up: 3.5 home games with 100,000-plus fans.
Penn State football routinely ranks among the nation’s leaders for home attendance. That’s been known for as long as Beaver Stadium has been one of the country’s top stadiums — in other words, for as long as anyone can remember. However, the 100,000 mark has been somewhat in flux in recent memory. How many home games this season will the Nittany Lions have with at least that many fans?
Let’s look ahead.
Why you should take the over
A great home schedule and expectations that are as high as any in recent memory. Penn State welcomes Akron, Pitt, Georgia State, Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers and Nebraska to Beaver Stadium this season, and fans are justifiably excited. More than 8,400 new season tickets have been sold, with student tickets and recent graduate tickets selling out. More than 21,000 student season tickets were purchased over a four-day span, and recent grads scooped up another 1,400 ticket packages. So expect Beaver Stadium to be even louder this year, if that’s possible. Penn State had four such games last year (100,000-plus), and also drew about 97,500 against Michigan State, during Thanksgiving weekend. It’s not just that Penn State is coming off an 11-3 season and the program’s fourth Big Ten title, it’s how the team won last year: scoring nearly 40 points per game with offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s revved up offense and a defense that improved throughout the season. Add in the Heisman Trophy buzz with Saquon Barkley and the tremendously fantastic offseason marketing and social media content that the team is producing, and it’s looking like Penn State will have at least 100,000 fans for its home opener for the first time since 2010 against Youngstown State. At least, that’s what we’re thinking.
Why you should take the under
A couple contests that would seem to be near-locks for 100,000-plus — a night game and Homecoming — might not hit that number because of somewhat surprising circumstances. The night contest comes against an overmatched non-conference opponent (Georgia State), and Homecoming happens in November, when the weather could keep some fans away. And only twice in the last five seasons has Penn State had four home games with at least 100,000 fans, in 2014 and 2016.
We expect 100,000-plus fans to definitely attend at least four home games, and most likely, five or six contests. This one is easy: We’ll take the over.