As the final regular season Sunday of the NFL season kicks off, here is a story from CBS Sports about the former America's Team that might better explain why the league took its lockout of the players to the very brink this past summer:
In the stadium’s first year, the team drew an average of 89,700 fans. Even last year’s 6-10 team managed to attract 87,000 fans. But this year, the fan attendance number dropped to just 85,000 fans – despite the fact that Cowboys have a chance to win their division this weekend.They can try to spin this story all they want. The fact is that not too long ago many NFL teams had years long waiting lists for people who wanted to buy season tickets. Nowadays, a lot of NFL games don't even sell out anymore. Given the league's prominence at the top of the heap of the sporting world in America, that is pretty significant.
RJ Choppy with 105.3 The Fan analyzed the attendance drop from a few different angles, but does not see it as a huge problem. “The Cowboys have been sort of mediocre and the economy has been in the tank,” he said. “I don’t really think it should be such a long-term problem, but in the short-term, it certainly is a little bit of a concern.”
If the team starts winning consistently again, Choppy predicts that the attendance will go up again. “So much of it is economics,” he said. “You have to pick things that you want to cut from your life and, unfortunately, one of the first things that go are recreational.
”Adding to the attendance concern is the sheer size of Cowboys Stadium. While other NFL teams have been building smaller arenas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones bucked the trend and went bigger. “Everyone who builds these new stadiums, they’re going smaller, more intimate, more quaint,” Choppy said. “I think the natural feeling that, well, that Cowboys Stadium is so big. It’s almost to the point where it’s not practical.”
As for me, I was an NFL season ticket holder for 13 years until I sold my personal seat licenses for a tidy little profit prior to the 2010 season. I have to admit that I don't at all miss going to the games at the prices they charge for tickets these days.
Bonus: Sorry Josh, but I think soon you MAY be the only cowboy