I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical of these empty seats pics, as many seemed to be out of California, which is not exactly the most enthusiastic football region. However, I have been keeping an eye on the “empty seats” stories, and was startled to see a major “empty seat” problem in Baltimore.
Unlike some of these other places, Baltimore IS a big football/sports town, with fans that are traditionally very enthusiastic. If the empty seat problem has hit Baltimore, then it’s hammering the NFL everywhere:
It seems paradoxical: The Ravens, who have sold out every home game since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996, are advertising tickets for Sunday’s contest at M&T Bank Stadium.
But this is where the Ravens find themselves in 2017: Contemplating the prospect of empty seats, and appealing to fans to “Win Together. Purchase your tickets today!” even as the team is contending for what would be its first playoff berth since 2014.
Thousands of fans are trying to resell their tickets to the sold-out game Sunday against the Detroit Lions at 71,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium via Ticketmaster, the team’s official resale outlet, or StubHub. Seats were available this week in almost every section; an $80 ticket for an upper end zone seat could be had for as little as $29.
Every week, some ticket holders must miss the game. But the NFL is laboring across the board this season to maintain its fan base and minimize no-shows. It’s not just the Ravens. Television ratings are down league-wide and empty seats can be seen at many games.
“The Ravens are finding themselves in the same situation as a lot of NFL teams this year,” said T.J. Brightman, president of A. Bright Idea, a public relations and marketing firm with offices in Bel Air and California. “There is a disengagement by fans across the country stemming from the daily and weekly stories the NFL league office confronts.”
The Baltimore Sun is also as liberal a media outlet as you will find anywhere, so for them to make these kinds of admissions is very startling.
Goodell needs to start cracking down on protesting players or he’s not going to have much of a league soon. While the media is still denying the protests are the cause of fan disengagement, they are increasingly less able to cover up the problem. The question is whether the NFL’s SJW owners want money, or virtue signalling “brownie points” from their SJW peers more.
I’m shocked at the number of empty seats here at the Ravens game. Wow, I’ve never seen it like this before in Baltimore.