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USF Bulls’ football crowds grew by 41 percent in 2016

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For the USF Bulls, there were a lot more things worth seeing in 2016. And a lot more fans came to see them.

The Bulls were third in the nation in their increase of attendance, which jumped by 10,971 fans (41 percent) in an 11-win season that also featured a home game against FSU. Only Eastern Michigan, North Texas and Georgia State had bigger increases.

It’s easy to see why the Bulls drew so many more fans (their best draw since 2012). Quarterback Quinton Flowers led a high-octaine offense for the Bulls.

The Miami Hurricanes didn’t have that big a jump in percentages, but they had more actual fans (more than 11,000 to 58,572.

UCF’s attendance grew by 19 percent, and FSU’s by 4.9 percent.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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