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Football Loss to Wisconsin Reflects Tough First Season For Rutgers in Big Ten Conference

Cold, Rainy Stadium Was Never Full, as Rutgers Lost 37-0 to Wisconsin Badgers
Rutgers Student Section
In cold rainy weather, Rutgers football team had a hard time keeping fans in the stands as many left at halftime. Daniel Munoz

PISCATAWAY, NJ—When the dust settled, or in the case of the November 1 football game, when the fog cleared, the final score of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights versus the Wisconsin Badgers stood at 37-0.

Although the game sold out at 52,707 tickets, an estimated 20,000 showed up. At halftime, students poured out of the student section, leaving the area practically empty.

The marching band was moved to the student section for the remaining half of the game.  

Rutgers had optimisitically entered the Big Ten Athletic Conference on July 1, following a lengthy legal effort to negotiate a lower exit fee with the previous athletic conference, the Big East.

Its' first football opponent in the new conference was Penn State, where the Scarlet Knights suffered a narrow 10-13 loss.

The second Big Ten Home game, which brought University of Michigan to the Rutgers campus, saw the Scarlet Knights achieve a narrow victory, and their first in the Big Ten.

But on the road against some of college football's best teams, Rutgers did not fare as well.

The Knights sufferred crushing defeats against Ohio State University and University of Nebraska.

The recent 37-0 loss against Wisconsin came at home, further bursting the school's Big 10 bubble.

But confidence in the Scarlet Knights during the Penn State game was high.  Scalped tickets ran at their highest amount, an average of $50. 

The New Brunswick Parking Authority saw an $8,500 increase in revenue from the expanded use of its parking decks versus the same weekend a year earlier, and sold the most parking spots on College Avenue. 

The University of Michigan game also brought a similar influx into New Brunswick.

Scalped tickets for the Michigan game saw a slight decline in their value. They had started out at as much as $40 at the middle of the week, with the value dipping to $25 at worst towards the end of the week. 

Overall, attendance at the first two home games was high. Amidst the victory against the University of Michigan, students donned in black apparel, and even rushed the fieldin celebration of the dramatic win. 

Between the Michigan game on October 4 and the Wisconsin game on November 1, Rutgers traveled to play against Ohio State and the University of Nebraska. The first game saw Rutgers lose by a 56-17 score, while Nebraska defeated Rutgers 42-24 a week later. 

After a month, the Wisconsin game failed to bring much enthusiasm, despite it being the Homecoming game. 

Scalped tickets went from a high of $35 to a low of $15. Yet as the week progressed, prices declined to the point that by Friday and the day of the game, students were advertising to give away the tickets free of charge.

The New Brunswick Parking Authority in turn reported its second-lowest amount of College Avenue parking spots were sold at the $10/day rate.  The only football Saturday that caused less spaces to less was the Tulane game in September.

The November 15 match against the Indiana Hoosiers will be the last home game Rutgers will have this season, as the Maryland and Michigan State games will both happen on their respective campuses.