NFL attendance at stadiums continues to decline
Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season marked the latest evidence of the drop in attendance at NFL games. Pictures of empty stadiums continue to circulate the Internet. The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are just two of the teams struggling to fill their stadiums.
This trend of absenteeism at games has been and continues to be a problem for the NFL. Over the past few years, teams have been noticing a decline in fans attending the games. Each year, this trend has been slowly getting worse. While not all teams are suffering from this lack of interest among the fan base, it continues to be a problem for the sport as a whole.
The most detrimental repercussions of this lack in attendance might not even be money. Sure, less ticket sales means less revenue for the franchise, but the money they make from TV deals, jerseys and other memorabilia, sponsors, and all the other ways they bring in money will keep them afloat for years to come. Yes, losing money is never something to shrug off, but it’s not like these teams are at Defcon 5 because of the loss in ticket sales.
An issue that the lack of attendance might create is the skill level of teams to decline. Talented players with multiple teams interested in them might be less inclined to want to go to a team that doesn’t have a solid home crowd. These players don’t want to play in empty stadiums. They want the crowds behind them, and the stadium to be cheering for the home team when they are trying to defend on third down. Players who are talented enough to pick and choose what team they end up on won’t want to play for a city that has a disconnect from its fans. Thus, the overall skill level and success of these teams will plummet.
There’s a myriad of reasons that could point to why ticket sales are declining and why people are leaving early. Drama within the league, i.e. players committing domestic violence, the national anthem protests, etc. Maybe it’s because ticket prices have become so expensive over the past decade that most people can’t or won’t shell out the money to go to a game. Or maybe, it’s because our TV’s quality has improved so much that we’re perfectly content watching the game on our 60” 4K display TV’s. Whatever the case is, the NFL’s concern continues to grow while they search for a solution.