3 Ways to fix NFL attendance and ratings issues

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Brockers
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Brockers /

NFL attendance needs addressing in Los Angeles and San Francisco and the league must also fix its television ratings issue.

The NFL hasn’t had as great of an opening weekend as they wished. NFL attendance in big markets was a big issue and the NFL has no one to blame but themselves.  The league saw stadiums in San Francisco and Los Angeles struggle to put fans in seats for opening weekend.

While the teams aren’t particularly great, it’s concerning. The L.A. Rams and Chargers and NFL have a lot riding on the fact that people want football in L.A.  Roger Goodell has done things to the game the past few years that have made it less appealing.

With commercial’s extending the game to the point it takes 4 hours to get through a game, it’s hurt the NFL ratings on television. Fans have made their way to the NFL Red Zone Channel. Why would they watch one game. Which seems to stop for commercials every 5 plays, when they could watch every team score?

The Red Zone Channel is great for fans, terrible for television ratings. Also, since the day’s of Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson, the leagues stopped players from having their own personality. As a business, let your biggest stars flourish. Let Odell Beckham Jr. wear whatever cleats he wants. Let Antonio Brown Dance in the end zone.

Image result for l.a. rams 2017 home opener attendance
The L.A. Rams struggled to put fans in seats against Indianapolis /

The NCAA seems to have everything going right from a viewers stand point. Lets not forget one likes the NCAA, because it’s a terrible organization and is misusing its players (topic for another time). While they keep making money and not paying the student athletes (sorry, last shot at the NCAA), they can still have fun and recognize it’s a game.

Baker Mayfield this past weekend dismantled Ohio State at their house, and he let them know it. His teammates and himself took the Oklahoma flag and stuck it in the middle of their field. Besides a forced apology, it was awesome. It makes the game fun and makes it mean something, which the NCAA has lost at its games.

Roger Goodell doesn’t do a great job at letting the leagues superstars do what they do: put fans in the seats. Fining players for using props while celebrating is nonsense. We all remember how much fun it was when Chad Johnson brought out his “Hall of Fame Jacket” or when Terrell Owens signed a football, or threw pop corn in his face.

Here’s three solutions to the NFL attendance issue:

  1. Pricing: The pricing of games is getting a little out of hand in certain markets. Just a few weeks ago I attended a New England Patriots preseason game. The price for parking? $40. For a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars they had fans paying $40 for parking. The people over at Vividseats showed us what the average NFL ticket will cost this season. $172 for ONE ticket. While obviously there’s going to be cheaper options, as well as poor teams will have cheaper tickets. But for an average, that’s extremely high and could be a big cause for teams struggling to put fans in the seats.
  2. Celebrations: This is where Goodell and the NFL gets some credit. This year they are allowing players to have group celebrations. While that’s a start, personally I won’t be satisfied until players can have free range and use props. It’s either a matter of time before this is allowed, or it’ll absolutely never happen. Still having a hard time figuring out which one.
  3. Shorten the Game: Some how, some way, it has to happen. Goodell has already addressed he’s at least aware of this situation. He didn’t shorten the game, but he did give us fewer commercial breaks. However, he just made them longer. That’s great for people at home, however not so good for people attending games. Attending games and realizing the games stuck in a commercial break again, is one of the worst issues. Watching the players stand around isn’t great for those paying $172 to watch a football games. The NFL needs t figure out a way to keep the money coming in while shortening the commercials. Suggestion: Fewer commercials, charge more. You’re welcome, NFL.

Next: NFL Power Rankings – Week 2: Are Patriots still Number 1?

All jokes aside, the NFL is on top of the sports world in America and globally. Fans can’t get enough football and the NFL needs to find a new way to help the game grow from the fans point of view. NFL attendance needs to rise, especially in big markets (looking at you Los Angeles. Making changes that appeal to the fans should help and hopefully grow the game even further.