As the nation prepares to celebrate Christmas Day, it looks like Santa didn’t come to fill the NFL’s empty stadiums for the league’s Week 16 games.
The NFL’s Week 16 began with an admission by the Baltimore Ravens that the mass player protests during the playing of the national anthem when the team was playing on foreign soil in Britain’s Wembley Stadium, has seriously hurt its attendance all year here at home.
The Ravens sent a letter to season-ticket holders, sponsors, and suite holders, commenting on the number of empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium and specifically citing the anthem protests as a factor causing the no-shows.
Despite last week’s mea culpa, the stadium was still practically empty for Saturday’s game. Photos of show a massive number of empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens took on the Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens won the points, but not the fans in a 23-16 final.
— Josh Rubin (@j_z_rubin) December 23, 2017
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) December 23, 2017
Near the end of the 1st, still plenty of empty seats. pic.twitter.com/8bq0ytV0b1
— Brandon Weigel (@brandon_weigel) December 23, 2017
The tale of empty seats continued as teams kicked off for Sunday’s games, as well.
When the Los Angeles Rams traveled to Nissan Stadium to meet the Tennessee Titans, it appeared that fans were less interested in football than the NFL would have hoped. The Titans lost fans and the game in a 27-23 squeaker to the Rams.
— Project 615 (@project615) December 24, 2017
— Paul Mondesire (@TallPaul513) December 24, 2017
The Cincinnati Bengals weren’t able to turn out fans at Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront, either. The Bengals did beat the Detroit Lions, though, 26-17, though. So the day wasn’t a complete loss for the “Who Dey” crowd.
Bengals fans doing some self-reflection on this Christmas Eve. pic.twitter.com/D1oNXbHZ9q
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 24, 2017
— April Wyatt (@ALW80) December 24, 2017
— Dom Vizor (@domvizor) December 24, 2017
As the Miami Dolphins battled the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs took the game with a final 29-13. But there were a lot of empty seats presiding over the game.
— KelCon Technologies (@kelcontech) December 24, 2017
— Bill Lampe (@BillLampeVC) December 24, 2017
CBS just showed A LOT OF EMPTY SEATS at Arrowhead #ChiefsKingdom
— Chris Law (@ChrisLaw) December 24, 2017
Meanwhile, in a snowy Chicago, the Bears trounced the Cleveland Browns 20 to 3. However, apparently the fans stayed home where it’s warmer. Only about half of Soldier Field’s seats were warmed by a fan this weekend.
— Matthew Carlson (@MattCNews) December 24, 2017
For the fans at home: 11 minutes left in the first quarter, and these are the west side stands. pic.twitter.com/ozCfFGwLtK
— James Neveau (@JamesNeveau) December 24, 2017
The Carolina Panthers hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, and won in a 22-19 final. But fans had other things to do. Video of the game shows a ton of empty blue-backed seats shining through the crowd.
— Heather Childers (@HeatherChilders) December 24, 2017
When the Denver Broncos arrived at FedEx Field to face the Washington Redskins, fans seemed more interested in tending to Christmas plans back home.
— Mike D 📷 (@hockywizrd) December 24, 2017
— Matthew Kingsley (@3kingsley) December 24, 2017
Finally, football in New York is still struggling as the Los Angeles Chargers traveled east to MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets. The Chargers won 14-7, but fans stayed home regardless.
— Joanne Trup (@JoanneTrup) December 24, 2017
— Keegan (@ImJustKeegan) December 24, 2017
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.