Over the past year or so, we’ve reported on multiple stories where NFL ratings have slid sharply, likely due to the increased politicization of the game since Colin Kaepernick’s now-infamous kneeling protest during the National Anthem.
It now appears quite possible that it’s no longer folks just switching the channel, but fans are possibly not even going to games because of this increasingly political nature of the game. We may have just seen the beginning of a real slide in fan attendance at these games.
The Daily Caller reports that at the Thursday game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams, the stadium was mostly empty right at the start of the game. Here are some pictures of what it looked like.
Thursday night football. Time for kickoff. pic.twitter.com/SinMLDH6AD
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 22, 2017
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that 63,500 tickets had been sold for the game, but of course, simply selling a ticket doesn’t mean the buyer will actually show up to the game.
It’s hard to believe there are more than 30,000 people in the stadium, judging from the photos.
One of ESPN’s analysts believes that it could be the fact that the 49ers were 0-2 (now 0-3 after losing to the Rams), and while that certainly could be the case, let’s not discount the fact that the politicization of the league has not helped.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 22, 2017
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) September 22, 2017
Even towards halftime, the stadium remained mostly empty.
— Colin Resch (@colinresch) September 22, 2017
At this rate, the NFL and their teams will really have a financial slide. While this may have been a one-game instance, we’ll have to see how attendance is this season versus the last.
What do you think? Is the lack of attendance because of the injection of politics into the game? Let me know what you think!