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2022 HBCU homecoming numbers get a bump

15 HBCU homecoming games drew over 10,000 fans, up from 11 in 2021. The list is led for the second straight year by Jackson State and head coach Deion Sanders, by far the biggest draw in HBCU football.

Attendance at HBCU football homecomings was up slightly in 2022.

The number of homecoming games that drew 10,000 or more fans increased from 11 in 2021 to 15 in 2022. The average attendance at those 15 games was 21,745, only a little above the 20,828 average in 2021.

HBCU Homecomings: The “Prime” Effect

Just as he and his team figured prominently in HBCU Gameday’s story on the largest attended games overall in 2022, head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and his Jackson State squad also figured significantly in the homecoming numbers.

Their homecoming date vs. non-SWAC member Campbell on Oct. 16 drew 51,596 fans to top the list for the second straight season. It was a little less than the Oct. 16 JSU homecoming match with SWAC rival Alabama State that attracted 53,578 to Mississippi Veteran’s Memorial Stadium and topped the 2021 list. But again, it was head-and-shoulders above the second largest crowd.

HIGHEST ATTENDANCE AT 2022 

BLACK COLLEGE HOMECOMING GAMES

1) JACKSON STATE vs. Campbell – October 16 – 51,596

2) TUSKEGEE vs. Miles – Nov. 5 – 35,275

3) ALABAMA STATE vs. Jackson State – October 8 – 31,334

4) SOUTHERN vs. Virginia Lynchburg – October 22 – 23,489

5) NORFOLK STATE vs. Delaware State, October 15 – 22,478

6) N. C A&T vs. Campbell – October 29 – 21,500

7) ALCORN STATE vs. Texas Southern – October 22 – 20,645

8) FLORIDA A&M vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff – October 29 – 19,802

9) ALABAMA A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman – October 1 – 18,750

10) SC STATE vs. Virginia Lynchburg – October 15 – 15,349

11) PRAIRIE VIEW A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman – Oct. 29 – 14,599

12) NC CENTRAL vs. Howard  – November 5 – 14,322

13) GRAMBLING STATE vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff – Nov. 5 – 13,589

14) ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF vs. Texas Southern – Oct. 8 – 13,249

15) MORGAN STATE vs. Norfolk State – Oct. 8 – 10,200

TOTAL  – 326,177 

(2022 – 15 Homecoming Games over 10,000) 21,745 average 

(2021 – 11 Homecoming Games over 10,000) 20,828 average

HBCU Homecomings pack ’em in

Sanders and the Tigers also had a hand in the third largest homecoming. They helped pack a homecoming-record 31,334 fans to Alabama State’s October 8 homecoming vs. JSU. The 26-12 JSU win drew headlines after Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. blew off an “Obama bro hug” with Sanders in their postgame on-field meeting and later quipped, “He aint SWAC” about Sanders in the postgame press conference. Robinson, who felt his team had been disrespected in the run-up to the game, later apologized for words he used during that press conference.

The second highest homecoming total went to Tuskegee who staged its game on the last weekend of the regular season. Its match up with in-state rival Miles on Nov. 5 drew 35,275 to Abbott Stadium.

Five homecomings drew between 20-30,000 – Southern (23,489 vs. Virginia Lynchburg on Oct. 22), Norfolk State (22,478 vs. Delaware State on Oct. 15), Tennessee State (22,231 vs. Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 8), NC A&T (21,500 vs. Campbell on Oct. 29) and Alcorn State (20,645 vs. Texas Southern on Oct. 22). Three homecomings drew between 20-30,000 in 2021.

Florida A&M was next in line with 19,802 fans at its Oct. 29th homecoming vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Florida A&M had the second largest 2021 homecoming with 31,887 for its Oct. 30 date vs. Grambling State.

HIGHEST ATTENDANCE AT 2021 BLACK COLLEGE HOMECOMINGS

JACKSON STATE vs. Alabama State – October 16 – 53,578

FLORIDA A&M vs. Grambling State – October 30 – 31,887

SOUTHERN vs. Prarie View A&M – October 23 – 24,580

ALABAMA A&M vs. Jackson State – October 16 – 21,835

N. C A&T vs. Monmouth – October 30 – 21,500

NORFOLK STATE vs. Virginia Lynchburg, October 16 – 16,716

ALCORN STATE vs. Grambling State – October 9 – 14,500

VIRGINIA STATE vs. Lincoln (PA) – October 23 – 13,054

SC STATE vs. Morgan State – October 16 – 11,000

HOWARD vs. Norfolk State – October 23 – 10,437

NC CENTRAL vs. Norfolk State  – November 6 – 10,027

TOTAL 229,114

(11 Homecoming Games over 10,000) 20,828 average

2022 HBCU homecoming numbers get a bump
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