2012 was a down year for HBCU football classics in terms of attendance. With the slow, but improving, economy fans did not flock to the games in record numbers. Some of the most high profiled games didn’t have it’s main draw, FAMU’s Marching 100 because of suspension. In most classic events the game plays secondary to the camaraderie, tailgates, parties, and halftime show. The SWAC continues to dominate in attendance numbers (number that don’t include neutral site match-ups) which carried over to the classic. Southern University were in 2 of the 5 biggest classics as reported by HBCU Lifestyle. Here’s who we will think will be the top 5 Classics for 2013. Don’t forget to check out our 2013 HBCU football classics schedule and our 2013 HBCU homecoming schedule.
2013 Predictions HBCU CLASSIC’S
1. Magic City Classic Last Year 1
There shouldn’t be any change here, the Magic City Classic has been the most attended classic for years now. Birmingham supports the classic and it has provided the city with more than “24 million dollars in economic impact ” said Mayor William Bell. The Alabama classic draws huge support from within the state including fans from the neighboring Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee states. They should continue success in 2013.
2. Florida Classic Last Year 5
With the possibility of FAMU’s Marching 100 returning to the field this year after their suspension it should return this classic back to prominence. Last year the Florida Classic seen its numbers dip drastically with the absence of FAMU’s band.
3. Bayou Classic Last Year 2
Celebrating it’s 40th year and it’s continuing collaboration with the NBC network, the Bayou Classic will continue to draw large crowds. The Bayou Classic is the only classic in the Top 5 that seen it’s numbers increase in 2012 from 2011. The network reported that it seen a 19% increase in television ratings.
4. Southern Heritage Classic Last Year 4
Memphis is one of the most soulful cities in the world and its known for its music, barbecue, and the Southern Heritage Classic. The game brings more than 20 million dollars worth of economic impact to the city of Memphis. The Classic saw a little dip in it’s 2012 attendance from the previous year but continued to deliver a strong crowd of over 42,000. The Classic should continue to draw large crowds from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
5. State Fair Classic Last Year (Not in Top 5)
Last year Grambling and Prairie View entered the game with zero wins, so someone had to walk away with a victory. This year I think each school will have a few wins under their belt before they enter this game. The game is played every year during the Texas State Fair and should continue to draw fans from each school’s base.