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College Football Crowds Smallest Since '03

Julie Bennett/Birmingham News

Regular-season attendance at college football's highest level dipped to 45,274 fans per game in 2012, the lowest average since 2003.

Football Bowl Subdivision crowds declined for the second straight season, according to an analysis by al.com of NCAA attendance figures for 2012 and past years. Five of the six Bowl Championship Series conferences experienced lower averages in 2012.

As higher ticket costs continue to price out average spectators, many fans can watch more comfortably and cheaply from home on their HDTV.

College football still drew 35.3 million fans into stadiums and remains one of America's most popular sports. But the average regular-season attendance...

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