Posted November 25, 2012

Attendance woes haunt NFL in Week 12

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Suffice it to say, the NFL will not be setting any attendance records on Sunday. Of the eight games taking place in Week 12′s early time slot, at least half are being played in front of sparse crowds.

Both Cincinnati’s home game against Oakland — Carson Palmer’s return to play his old team — and the Buccaneers’ key showdown with Atlanta were blacked out locally. And the attendances at those games may be in the upper echelon for the 1 p.m. ET games.

The dire situation in Kansas City, courtesy of SBNation’s Arrowhead Pride:

Last week, Chiefs fans enacted their own personal “Blackout” — frustrated fans wore black to protest the direction of the franchise. Despite the empty seats in K.C., the team has not had a TV blackout since 1991, and Sunday’s game kept that streak going despite the thousands of unused tickets.

Things were not much better in Miami Sunday, according to a photo tweeted by the AP’s Tim Reynolds:

That game also aired on local TV — the NFL’s new blackout policy requires teams to have 85 percent of non-premium tickets sold at least 72 hours before kickoff, with leeway sometimes provided in the form of an extension on that deadline.

The Jaguars’ contest against Tennessee also made it onto the airwaves in Jacksonville, despite a failure to fill the stadium (the team announced the crowd at 63,000 — 10K shy of capacity; the actual number appeared to be less than that):

Greer Stadium, for the record, is where Nashville’s Triple-A baseball club plays its home games.

Cincinnati, by comparison, had a decent turnout (photo via Joe Reedy on Twitter):

San Diego’s game against Baltimore later on Sunday also will be blacked out, and the number of no-shows around the league continues to be a growing problem for the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell talked earlier this month about the challenge that improved TV coverage has created:

“One of our biggest challenges in the league is the experience at home,” Goodell told the fan group just before the Falcons-Cowboys game.

And “HD is only going to get better,” he said.

The attendance issues always become more prevalent late in the season, as the weather worsens and teams drop from playoff contention. Given that there are still five weeks remaining in the regular season, though, this Sunday’s troubling showing from the fans might be just the beginning.

22 comments
sjannese
sjannese

times have changed [economy, disposable-income, teams poor records,etc]........but the NFL hasn't changed....!

Kp
Kp

It ain't 'improved tv coverage' that's to blame for people not wanting to spend big $$$ bucks to attend Goodell's product.

 

1) NFL is cheap beyond compare.  How else to explain the lockout of the refs?  As an expenditure, referee's pay and retirement is a drop in the bucket of the NFL's annual operating budget.  

 

2) Actions speak louder than words: NFL doesn't give a damn about the players' welfare.  If head injuries etc were truly important, again the regular refs would have been on the field every game this season.  Further, there would not be 3 games in 16 days (that's about how it works out - I may be off by a day or 2 either way).

 

3) NFL is too damn expensive.  The game tickets are bad enough, but the food, parking, merchandise, etc. is grossly overpriced. Sadly the college game is going the same direction; though the AD's and school presidents will hopefully look at the NFL and recognize Goodell and Co are murdering the Golden Goose - the richest sport in the world and it still isn't enough for the cheapassed owners who overcharge for their product and then expect that taxpayer to foot the bill for a new stadium every 20 years. 

 

 

Dan13
Dan13

The league has chased the true blue fan away with ridiculous ticket/parking/concession prices and the snobs won't go in bad weather or when a team doesn't have a great year.

Dan13
Dan13

Goodell hasn't done anything positive for this league

jaybird123
jaybird123

Ticket prices are way too high, parking is a nightmare. Plus it doesn't help when certain teams with certain quarterbacks never get called for holding -- it kind of gives the average fan the feeling that games are fixed, so that the most popular teams with the most well know quarterbacks make it to the playoffs -- all for TV ratings. 

SkyeADG
SkyeADG

In Jax, the team has never been supported unless they were winning.  It has always been that way here.  Before the Jags, the AAA Suns/Expos/Suns were treated the same way.  Things got slightly better here after the NFL let the team cover additional seats in the stadium (the required number of seats was unrealistically high as a percentage of total seats in early years due to the addition built on to accommodate the Florida/Georgia game and the Gator Bowl).

 

However, this is a small-market town with an economy and population that stopped growing well before the recession began due to poor planning by city managers and a series of mayors.  People here aren't going to pay 200.00 for a family of four to see a football game week after week (not including parking costs).  For years, black-outs were avoided primarily because Winn Dixie and/or CSX purchased the remaining tickets and distributed them to employees.  With the lousy economy, that no longer happens.  

 

Khan announced a plan to lower ticket costs and cover seats after purchasing the team.  I'm not sure how that's gone, but no games have been blacked out here this year so far.  In this economy, it's an easy bet that other cities are having similar problems. - overpriced tickets and under-performing teams.

WasBufNowWas
WasBufNowWas

Honestly?  Last Thursday the 3-6 Bills played the Dolphins on a weeknight and had tens of thousands of people willing to pay big bucks (for Buffalo) to see them.  But we were stuck outside the gates, needing 45+ minutes to get inside.  At least half the crowd missed kickoff and, in the first 90 seconds, the game's only touchdown.  Along the way, we had to deal with crazily expensive food and a crappy game (that we ended up winning rather boringly).  I can only imagine what will happen later in the season, now that we have no chance at the playoffs.  I can guarantee you, though, that our management will continue to pay only lip service to the fans, and services given to the ticket-paying public will be minimal at best.  No wonder people would rather watch from the comfort of their living room or their sports bar.

WillieR
WillieR

Why are the pictures shown taken during pregame?

SandbagSix
SandbagSix

The stadium experience often SUCKS. You pay an enormous amount of money for tickets.  Then you pay an enormous amount of money to park.  If you want food or a soda, prepare to pay an enormous amount of money for them. 

 

For your outlay of Benjamins you get to watch the game in a narrow seat with no leg room, and chances are decent you'll be sitting next to some inebriated ahole who makes the experience miserable. 

 

Or, for the same amount of money you can buy a decent TV and watch from the comfort of home today, next week, all season, next season...

 

Easy choice.

High_and_Inside
High_and_Inside

You know who doesn't have an attendance problem right now? Baseball.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

If the Packers were 3-7 right now (instead of 7-3) we would still have sold out seats. You either support your team no matter what, or you're not a true team fan. It's that obvious. Part of being a die-hard fan is living with the failures too. My Packers went through 30 years of it before we made it back to quality football. We still sold out every game during those 30 years......enough said.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

Blame it on the return of the UNION refs. Making uglier, and more EXPENSIVE mistakes.....lol.

SkipperSam
SkipperSam

 @WillieR NFL owns rights to all game Pictures

 Use of Photographs without the expressed written consent of the NFL are prohibited

Matt32
Matt32

 @SandbagSixYou can be a very nice TV for the price of tickets, beverages, food, parking, etc, etc, etc.  If they really want to get more people to the stadiums, they're going to have to put a cap on their greed.  $9.00 for a 12oz beer is beyond ridiculous.

 

HermanMilous
HermanMilous

 @Wisconsin Death Trip Not a true fan??? Huh? Sorry, I have a problem paying outrageous prices to support the ridiculously overpaid players. I'm GLAD to see empty stadiums, I hope the trend continues as the "fans" are tired of getting ripped off and we're tired of paying for private jets and excessive lifestyles, especially for inept players.

jaybird123
jaybird123

 @Wisconsin Death Trip Easy for you to say. There is absolutely nothing to do in Green Bay Wisconsin except go to football games. Try living in San Diego where there are a lot of other options besides watching football and see how easy it is to spend your hard-earned $$ to watch a losing team. 

PareshRay
PareshRay

 @Wisconsin Death Trip

 Oh whatever !! Who wants to live in Green Bay where there is nothing to do but go see the packers and crawl back to your caves due to the bitter cold?

BobKranz
BobKranz

 @Matt32  @PareshRay  @Wisconsin Death Trip Really...yes sold out.  No to full attendance. The packers fans stay home just like any other team when they are losing.  Think back to the pre Majkowski days and how empty the stands were during the games. If you say they werent you are a liar.