Why Can’t NIU Football Draw A Crowd In DeKalb?

Thursday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) When it comes to college football, the state of Illinois has an attendance deficit.

Here in the Land of Lincoln, we have three FBS programs in Illinois, Northwestern and Northern Illinois. The school’s home venues – Memorial Stadium (cap. 60,600), Ryan Field (47,130) and Huskie Stadium (24,000) – boast a combined 131,170 seats, but not one program can brag about filling them.

Or even coming close.

For Illinois, the problem is a lack of wins (just two this year). For Northwestern, it’s probably a lack of football aficionados (most students don’t go to NU to watch sports). And for NIU, it’s a lack of …

Well, what exactly is the reason why the 12-1 Orange Bowl-bound Huskies – who are enjoying a 21-game winning streak at home – are unable to draw big crowds?

Earlier this month, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren left DeKalb for North Carolina State and said that his biggest regret was that the team with the nation’s longest home winning streak didn’t sell out one home game while he was on the sideline.

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