San Deigo State kicked off its 2023 football season with a 20-13 victory over Ohio in Week 0, moving the Aztecs to 1-0 ahead of a nonconference slate that includes two Pac-12 programs in the coming weeks.
Just a couple of months ago, games against UCLA and Oregon State might’ve been seen as a precursor for things to come in a new-look Pac-12, as SDSU was a prime candidate to jump into the conference.
However, the invitation from the Pac-12 never came, and the Aztecs had to crawl back to the Mountain West, thankful to have a home.
The development, or lack thereof, had to be disheartening for the San Diego State fanbase. Players were saying that the program had expected a move to the Pac-12 for over a year. The Aztecs even told the MWC that they’d planned to leave the conference, before walking back their statements.
All that hype came crashing back down to Earth though when the Pac-12 crumbled to just four teams, and it appears to have impacted SDSU’s attendance over the weekend.
Only 16,831 fans turned out to see the Aztecs’ 2023 home opener in Snapdragon Stadium despite announcing 23,867 tickets being distributed, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
SDSU Athletic Director John David Wicker sent out an email to Aztec Club members on Saturday morning, asking for assistance in helping fill up the stadium.
“My ask of you is to help us fill up our home venues as we know with certainty that an enthusiastic Aztec crowd can inspire our student-athletes to be at their best.
“Please ask a fellow alumnus, a friend, a neighbor to join you at a game.”
Snapdragon Stadium has a capacity of 35,000, making the 16.8K turnout less than half of what the stadium can hold. To make matters worse, SDSU has seen a decline in season ticket sales as well. Last year, SDSU sold 15,974 season tickets for Snapdragon’s debut season but had sold just 10,718 season tickets ahead of their home opener.
If this is a sign of things to come for San Diego State, they’d better find a way to make some changes, as their brand new stadium, which cost $310M to build, needs to be full as often as possible.