After drawing more than 17 million fans to games last season, it took the NFL until the last week of this season to surpass just 1 million in attendance.
With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting fans, it was the lowest attendance figure since 1938, when the league’s 10 teams hosted 1.1 million fans.
Nineteen of the NFL’s 32 teams hosted fans. The top three teams in attendance across the season:
- Dallas Cowboys — 197,313 total fans
- Jacksonville Jaguars — 127,355 total fans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 101,383 total fans
Prior to the season, estimates suggested the NFL would lose $5.5 billion in revenue from tickets, concessions, parking and other game day activities without fans. With 1 million in attendance, the league might have salvaged $400 million.
Saving Home Field: New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said the team considered quarantining up to 50,000 fans in hotels for home field advantage in their upcoming playoff game against the Chicago Bears.
Reporters were unclear if his suggestion was a joke. Without a mass quarantine, approximately 3,000 fans will be in attendance at the Superdome.
Super Plans: No official ruling has been made on Super Bowl attendance, but the game will have less pomp and circumstance than previous years.
A significant chunk of the expected Super Bowl LV crowd? Vaccinated first responders.