Weak 13: Empty Seats Greatly Outnumber Spectators As NFL Attendance Crisis Continues

AP Tony Avelar
AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Week 13 doesn’t appear to be the National Football League’s lucky number as photos of stadiums across the league still show an awful lot of empty seats. Meanwhile, the sad in-person attendance mirrors the continually plummeting TV ratings.

With last week’s Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football broadcasts closing out Week 12 with new lows in metered markets, and despite the nearly $90 million in social justice spending for players to end their constant, anti-American protests during the national anthem, Week 13 began with tens of thousands of empty seats in stadiums everywhere.

To note just a few…

Met Life stadium, for one, didn’t show too much life as the New York Jets faced down the Kansas City Chiefs in a close 38-31 game.


Then, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, as the Dolphins defeated the Denver Broncos, it seems fans weren’t very interested in coming out to see the 35-9 blowout. Empty, green-backed seats are seen everywhere in these photos:

At least one Twitter user was saying that seats for the Dolphins were selling for an unheard of $19 a piece:

Chicago fans stayed home from the Bears’ Soldier Field despite the fact that the temperatures in the Windy City seemed more like Spring than Winter. The San Francisco 49ers barely squeaked by to top the Bears 15-14 and played to a lot of empty seats:

When the New England Patriots came to town to maul the Buffalo Bills 23-3 at New Era Field, not many fans were present to take in the glory.

Also, the Detroit Lions took a hard loss to the Baltimore Ravens in a 44-20 final at M&T Bank Stadium, but, they played to many empty seats.

Even though the Minnesota Vikings blanked the Atlanta Falcons 14-9, fans found better things to do than to turn up at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Empty red seats were plentiful.

In Tennessee, as the Houston Texans visited the Titans’ Nissan Stadium, the Titans gave fans a 24-15 win. But almost no one saw it happen.:

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have taken the “W” from the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field in a big 30-10 final, but there were a lot of cold blue seats left in Tennessee.

Finally, a fan video of the crowd shows a good number of empty seats as the Los Angeles Charges played at home against the Cleveland Browns. With the game just starting, not many fans seemed interested. The video shows a lot of empty seats peppering StubHub Center.

Perhaps the seriously failed attempt to raze the Pontiac Silverdome, the former home of the Detroit Lions, is emblematic of the league these days.

There is a lot of failure going on around the NFL.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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