Ohio State football draws crowd of only 76,540 in win over Tulsa, smallest since 1971
After nearly selling out its home opener against Oregon a week ago, Ohio State saw a significant dropoff in spectators during its 41-20 win over Tulsa on Saturday.
The announced attendance was 76,540, making up the smallest crowd for a game at Ohio Stadium in half a century.
The previous low for the Horseshoe was when the Buckeyes drew 75,596 for its season opener against Iowa in 1971. The span does not include the three games held last season when tickets were not sold to the general public due to capacity restrictions in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the empty seats during Saturday’s game were in the upper deck of the stadium and in the corners of the south-end zone stands.
Why did Ohio State vs. Tulsa have a small crowd?
Since the expansion of Ohio Stadium in 2001, the Buckeyes have routinely seen crowds of at least 100,000, among the largest across college football. Only twice over the past two decades have they not surpassed that threshold: Rutgers in 2018 (93,057) and Kent State in 2002 (98,689).
A host of factors likely contributed to declining attendance on Saturday, ranging from the prevalence of coronavirus cases in central Ohio to high ticket prices and muggy temperatures that reached 88 degrees at kickoff.