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The Boston Globe

Sports

In move up, UMass football sees empty seats, high costs

Empty seats at Gillette, high costs mar move to elite competition

No one responsible for investing millions of public dollars to upgrade the University of Massachusetts Amherst football program and move the team’s home games to Gillette Stadium saw this coming. When the Minutemen played their first homecoming game in Foxborough — a 24-0 loss in October to Bowling Green — they drew a crowd of only 10,846 to the 68,756-seat stadium.

The sea of empty seats was especially stunning because the Minutemen had been accustomed to nearly packing their campus stadium for homecoming games. Over the previous five years, they had played before average crowds of 13,937 at the 17,000-seat McGuirk Alumni Stadium, on the UMass Amherst campus.

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