Spot on, as usual. When I was a student at OSU, my folks usually made a point to visit the weekend of the Spring game because between Michigan, 1969 (yep, that one) and Illinois, 1992 (another "kick to the groin" sort of loss), they did not get to see Ohio State play in person. The Spring Game no matter who is sitting it out is a special experience for many who don't get a lot of opportunities to see the Buckeyes. What's more, given that for a lot of guys who aren't in the two-deep it's one of their few opportunities to really shine inside the 'Shoe, it behooves us to see that they are shining in front of as close to a packed house as possible.
When the nation assesses programs' development for Spring, they inevitably look at how many turned out for the Spring Game. Having lower attendance doesn't reflect fairly on our team, and saying, "well, but tickets were $20" just makes the program look worse.