Week 1 of the NFL season had plenty of important stories worth following, but maybe the most entertaining was the mostly empty stadiums in Los Angeles and Santa Clara.
Both the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers had sparse crowds for their home openers, and that has not gone unnoticed by the NFL.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart on the attendance in LA & SF: “Any time we empty seats that something we want to address.” Focused on sellouts.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2017
Ian Rapoport’s report above shows that the league is clearly worried about the optics of half-filled stadiums. And they should be. It’s embarrassing for the league.
And we haven’t even gotten to the Los Angeles Chargers, who haven’t even been able to sellout a 27,000-seat stadium.
Nearly one-third of American adults say they are less likely to watch a National Football League game because of the growing number of Black Lives Matter protests that are happening by players on the field, a Rasmussen poll found.
Thirty-two percent polled online and by telephone said they’re willing to skip NFL games this year because of player protests over racial issues, the pollster said. Only 13 percent said they were more likely to watch the games because of the protests, and 52 percent said the protests had no impact on their viewing decisions.
Twenty-eight percent of African Americans said they were more likely to tune-into an NFL game because of the protests, compared to 8 percent of whites and 16 percent of other Americans, the poll found.
Whites were twice as likely as blacks to say they are less likely to watch this year.
The NFL, which has refused to do anything about the protests, had its ratings collapse last season. Although some have blamed blow-out contests, and others point to the presidential election, some see the protests and #boycottNFL online campaigns as the root of the ratings free-fall.
“Opposing viewpoints between NFL players and the league’s fans combined with increased viewing options have led to a smaller piece of the ratings pie,” Forbes wrote. “But what’s most curious about this situation is the league’s refusal to comment on it publicly. “At what point does the NFL drop the charade and try something new?”
Perhaps they’re in denial – not wanting to admit Mr. Kaepernick and other’s protest is indeed affecting their bottom line.