Photo of a poorly attended Denver Broncos game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Image Credit: Bradley Gordon (CC BY 2.0)

It's no secret that the NFL attendance numbers are down this season; close to 4% from 2009. That doesn't seem like much on paper, but it is. Is it because of the recession? A lot of people don't think so. The culprit is the NFL itself.

That's right, because the NFL does such a good job at presenting Sunday's games to you, NFL fans are staying at home for the games. Televisions are getting bigger; some even up to 80 inches. Many fans have mini-fridges stocked with the coldest Bud Light that only cost $10. Stores like Little Caesars, Domino's, Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreen's are all within a two mile radius of their homes. By not going to games, fans are able to sleep in until 11 AM and wake up just in time for all of the pregame shows. Let's not forget the $1300 + that stayed in their pockets because they didn't buy season tickets.

Let's walk through a typical game day for a fan that is going to an NFL game. If your team doesn't often play in the primetime slots, they will almost always play at 1 PM meaning they have to wake up at 9 AM on a day when a lot of working people are sleeping in. If they're tailgating at the stadium; even earlier than that. They then make the one or two hour trek to the city (gas money) and pay $20-$50 to park their car all while dealing with the city traffic. They walk three blocks to the stadium where they dodge foot traffic and pay $8 for a beer. They yell and scream, other fans yell and scream back at them. What if it's raining, snowing or scorching hot outside? Dealing with hot weather is no fun either and it's a reality at the beginning of the season. If your team goes on to lose, you're now upset the rest of the day because your were there to witness it. After making the hour or two drive back home, fans will have missed most of the 4 PM game and are in desperate need of a nap. You get the picture. All while other NFL fans are relaxing on their sofa.

The presentation of NFL games on television these days is amazing! The music, the constant updates of scores from other games, the broadcasting, the close ups of the players, the amazing camera angles. All of this is delivered within the comfort of your own a home. The presentation of a match up between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions is now more spectacular on television than the Super Bowl was 15 years ago. While the presentation of baseball has not changed much over the years, neither has attendance. There are 162 games in a season and you certainly notice how much better the presentation gets once the playoffs start in October. All in all, there is still nothing like attending an NFL game during the playoffs. If you have the kind of disposable income to attend every game, go for it!


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