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NFL attendance in steady decline

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08:01 AM ET 07.09 | It's rare that the NFL is associated with declining numbers, but a recent focus on reducing blackouts comes with an associated statistic. Despite unprecedented growth of TV audiences, attendance at NFL games reached an all-time high in 2007. It has consistently dropped ever since. In 2011, the NFL posted the lowest total attendance since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002 with the addition of the Houston Texans. That year, 16,883,310 paying customers attended the 256 regular-season games. The number climbed over the next five years, maxing out at 17,345,205 in 2007. Since then, the numbers has dropped each year. In 2011, the total paid attendance of 16,562,706 was lower than the prior year's 16,569,514, even though the 2010 figure excluded the Giants-Vikings game that was moved [after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed].

Pro Football Talk

Roger Goodell, Getty Images Roger Goodell, Getty Images
July 9, 2012  08:11 AM ET

Maybe the cost of going to a game has priced out so many fans...the real fans. Not those that show up just to be seen. But you and the owners only care about filling up the suites.

July 9, 2012  08:20 AM ET

If the teams and the league really consider this a problem, they can do a couple of things. If, as our sage contributor 50 says, ticket revenue is a small fraction of a team's total revenue, teams can simply offer those empty seats at a discount on game day (they could even do it on Priceline). Or they could donate the seats to various charities and take the tax write-off, and do something good for the community at the same time.

July 9, 2012  08:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

If the teams and the league really consider this a problem, they can do a couple of things. If, as our sage contributor 50 says, ticket revenue is a small fraction of a team's total revenue, teams can simply offer those empty seats at a discount on game day (they could even do it on Priceline). Or they could donate the seats to various charities and take the tax write-off, and do something good for the community at the same time.

The owner give something away for free???? Surely you jest

July 9, 2012  08:28 AM ET

It's so much better to watch on TV!!!

July 9, 2012  08:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The owner give something away for free???? Surely you jest

I know really! I don't know how it is where you are but for Cowboys stadium just to park I have 2 choices..withdraw money from my 401(k) or park in another county. Neither of which I will do..so I watch on tv.

July 9, 2012  08:39 AM ET

The US economy took a nosedive in 2008. Digital TV in the US became the standard in June, 2009. People have less money and they get a better picture at home. The beers cost 75 cents a can, and you don't have to miss the whole 3rd quarter to take a leak.

July 9, 2012  08:39 AM ET

It's a sad state of affairs that so many business-minded people can't see the real issue.

July 9, 2012  08:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

...or park in another county.

They're even sending our parking-lot attendant jobs to Mexico!

July 9, 2012  08:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

The owner give something away for free???? Surely you jest

Ha! I know what you're saying, but owners are businessmen, and some times it's better to take a lower price for something rather than not sell it at all.

July 9, 2012  08:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

It's a sad state of affairs that so many business-minded people can't see the real issue.

Issue? What issue? There are no issues within a hundred miles of Baghdad!

Attendance, down 5 percent since 2007
Ticket prices, up 15 percent since 2007
Revenue from tickets, up 10 percent since 2007

Follow the money. There's still a trail of doubloons going to every NFL owner.

July 9, 2012  09:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

It's a sad state of affairs that so many business-minded people can't see the real issue.

Issue? What issue? There are no issues within a hundred miles of Baghdad!

Attendance, down 5 percent since 2007
Ticket prices, up 15 percent since 2007
Revenue from tickets, up 10 percent since 2007

Follow the money. There's still a trail of doubloons going to every NFL owner.

July 9, 2012  09:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

It's a sad state of affairs that so many business-minded people can't see the real issue.

Issue? What issue? There are no issues within a hundred miles of Baghdad!

Attendance, down 5 percent since 2007
Ticket prices, up 15 percent since 2007
Revenue from tickets, up 10 percent since 2007

Follow the money. There's still a trail of doubloons going to every NFL owner.

July 9, 2012  09:08 AM ET

Trifecta!

July 9, 2012  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Maybe the cost of going to a game has priced out so many fans...the real fans...

It has me...

July 9, 2012  09:19 AM ET

I stopped paying through the nose to see games long ago. Now it's way, way higher than it was when I said "enough". I don't really see how anyone affords it these days. And besides, with RedZone you see everything. Pure football nirvana.

Comment #16 has been removed
July 9, 2012  09:24 AM ET

Two words Sunday Ticket.

Comment #18 has been removed
July 9, 2012  09:30 AM ET

......football is dying (along with ex-plyers) ...will be outlawed within 10 years (or severely changed).....long live baseball...fastest growing and best game on the planet.......

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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