To pack Swamp again, UF's Mullen ready to resort to song & dance to help Gators cause

Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Football

Prior to Saturday, Mullen had felt the power of the Swamp many times, just not quite as much recently as he’d like.

During Mullen’s four seasons (2005-08) as Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator, the Gators exceeded the 90,000 threshold at the 88,548-seat Swamp during all 27 home games, losing just twice. Alabama’s visit marked only the third of 15 home games not impacted by COVID-19 with at least 90,000 fans under Mullen.

UF is 13-3 at home under Mullen, and now 2-1 during sellouts — winning in 2018 against LSU and 2019 against Auburn.

Sellouts are increasingly rare across college football because of high-definition, big-screen TVs, the traffic, parking and long lines at the stadium and travel challenges during a pandemic.

SEC schedule-makers could help at the turnstiles.

Mullen might be the only coach asking to play Alabama more, but said fans want to see a variety of opponents.


“If you look at, probably the two biggest crowds I’m guessing since I’ve been here were Alabama and Auburn,” Mullen said. “They’re the two least teams that come here the least. That’s the ticket that people want. So if we rotate it more, you see more flexibility within the scheduling.

“It’s certainly going to help attendance and excitement and an interest in the games.”

This applies not just to those supporting the home team.

“Maybe what pushes it over the top,” Mullen said, “is there a lot Alabama fans because they haven’t been to the Swamp in a long time — they come as well.”


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