As the NFL becomes more and more popular on TV, less people are actually heading out to see games in-person, causing the lowest attendance throughout the league in 15 years.
According to David Broughton and Andrew Levin of Sports Business Daily, the NFL averaged 66,648 attendees at home games throughout 2019, which is the lowest average since 2004. While the Cowboys averaged 90,929, leading the league over the past 11 seasons, fifteen teams saw a decline in attendance, with the Jaguars dipping by 8.7 percent. The Raiders also saw a dip in fans at the Coliseum with a 7.6 percent decline and the Bengals dropped their attendance rate by 7 percent. Two teams, however, saw an increase of more than five percent, as the Washington Redskins gained 7.3 percent of attendees and the Bills saw a 6 percent jump.
In 2016, the NFL’s attendance rate was at its highest with an average of 69,487 people in seats per game.
The NFL isn’t alone, either. Followings its regular season, Major League Baseball’s 2019 attendance dropped to its lowest numbers since 2003. Total MLB attendance drew in 68.49 million, down 1.7 percent from 2018 and is the league’s sixth decline over the last seven seasons and its lowest season on record in 16 years. Teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies brought in record-breaking attendance numbers, but a handful of teams barely brought in 1 million fans, with the Toronto Blue Jays falling to an attendance of 578,000 fans.
The MLB has been offering a handful of initiatives to boost attendance, like the A’s Access Program to fill vacant seats and the San Francisco Giants’ pledge to decrease ticket prices in 2020. However, casual NFL fans find it hard to go out and see a game in-person when they could just catch the game from the comfort of their own couch and TV.