Jacksonville State has completed its first season in its new baseball stadium, and the numbers say it’s a success.
Tuesday’s 5-3 win over UAB marked the last of 26 home dates this season. Adding up the attendance figures attached to each boxscore, JSU averaged 960 a game.
If you take out the three home games that drew the most — Alabama (2,033), Auburn (1,882) and Georgia (1,527) — JSU still averaged 891 a game. That still tops the second-best home stadium in the Ohio Valley Conference — Southeast Missouri averaged 492 over 28 home dates.
The Gamecocks also drew a good bit more than their last season in their old on-campus stadium in 2016, when they averaged 377 a game. They spent 2017 and 2018 in Oxford’s Choccolocco Park.
Also, JSU fulfilled one of its original intentions of having the new stadium — high school games were played at the stadium, which allowed it to be a great point of entry for prospective students.
Certainly, it helped that the stadium was new. It also helped that JSU is competing for a championship. The Gamecocks enter this week’s three-game series at Austin Peay tied for first place in the OVC. Austin Peay is the team that JSU is deadlocked with, so whichever team wins this series wins the league.
Even so, the stadium is a good product for a relatively inexpensive price tag of $9 million. (Alabama spent $42.5 million on its stadium, while Mississippi State poured $55 million into its facility.) And, JSU fans responded this season.