Packing Them In: Ranking Each NFL Team's Fans Based on Attendance
A true sign of how faithful a team's fan base is, and how good they are doing, is determined by how full they can get their stadiums to be.
Some team's fans will pack the stadium rain or shine, cold or warm, while others are fair-weathered and only show up when the team is winning. Here is how each team's fans performed in 2009.
32. Oakland Raiders
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Average Attendance: 44,284
Notorious for the craziest and scariest fans in the league, it appears the Oakland Raiders also have the most fair-weathered fans. Then again, who can really blame the fans after some of the moves Al Davis has made in recent years?
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Average Attendance: 49,651
Probably the worst fans in the league, which is probably why they will be shipped off to Los Angeles in the next couple of years. Jacksonville is a haven for retired couples, and that's not really the biggest NFL market out there.
30. Detroit Lions
Average attendance: 49,395
The Lions have one of the newest and nicest stadiums in the league, but with the Detroit economy and a team who has not had a winning record in 10 years (including the only winless season in NFL history), it's easy to see why attendance is as low as it is.
29. St. Louis Rams
Edward Jones Dome
Average Attendance: 55,237
Ever since the "Greatest Show on Turf" disbanded, the team has been struggling to find a new identity, and with that, a way to win games.
28. Kansas City
Average attendance: 67,514
The other team from the state of Missouri, the Chiefs, aren't doing much better than the Rams. At one point in time, Chiefs fans were known as one of the best fan bases in the NFL, but that has not been the case of late.
27. Miami Dolphins
Sun Life Stadium
Average attendance: 67,542
Miami has the same problem as Jacksonville; it's hard to get people to come to games when they live in a tropical paradise. With the team looking more promising than in years past, expect attendance to increase.
26. Washington Redskins
Average attendance: 84,794
Washington has an excuse in the fact that technically, they have the biggest stadium in the league. If we were ranking based on average attendance, the Redskins would be number two in the league, behind the hated Cowboys. But because of the size of their stadium, they were only able to crack the 26 spot.
25. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Stadium (+1 originality point)
Average attendance: 68,888
Famed for their "Dog Pound," the fans of the Browns show up pretty well for a team who has not performed in a similar manner. Maybe a better performance from the Browns in upcoming years will get the percentage to 100 or higher.
24. San Diego Chargers
Average attendance: 67,543
Blessed with one of the better teams in recent years, you would think the residents of San Diego would do a better job of supporting their team. Maybe with the support of their fans, the Chargers could end the fabled San Diego curse in the near future.
23. Atlanta Falcons
Average attendance: 68,173
Ever since the Falcons lost Michael Vick, attendance has dropped. With Matt Ryan leading an up-and-coming Falcons team, expect this number to rise.
22. Buffalo Bills
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Average attendance: 70,128
For a team who has never been able to win a Super Bowl, the people of Buffalo sure do love their Bills. It is amazing that the Bills are able to fill Ralph Wilson Stadium as much as they do, considering the conditions the fans have to endure at games during December and January. It would not be right for the team to betray these fans and go to Toronto, as reports have indicated they plan on doing.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium
Average attendance: 62,991
The only stadium with a pirate ship inside of it, Raymond James Stadium packs in an average of 62,991 people each time the Buccaneers play, filling 96 percent of the stadium. Pretty impressive for a team that went 3-13 last season.
20. New York Jets
Average attendance: 77,052
I'd like to start off by saying, "Who knew there were Mexicans in New York?" Now that I got that off my chest, the Jets were a bit subpar in the fan department, for their record at least, and I'm sure it hurts any Jets fan to know they were outperformed by their counterparts in blue.
19. New Orleans Saints
Average attendance: 70,105
I think it's safe to say the Super Bowl Champion Saints outperformed their fans in 2009, but considering that the community is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, that is understandable. For anyone who has not been to a Saints game, you can expect it to be a party, if not during the game, then after, when everyone spills out onto Bourbon Street.
18. Green Bay Packers
Average attendance: 70,708
One of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, Lambeau Field is home to the Packers, whose fans managed to fill up 97 percent of the stadium, on average.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Average attendance: 63,485
The home of the "Terrible Towel" comes in at 17th. You would think that Steelers fans, who are known as some of the most passionate in the league, would be able to average 100 percent attendance, but in 2009, they could not.
16. Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
Average attendance: 64,004
First place in the state of Ohio, and 16th in the NFL, are the Cincinnati Bengals fans, who performed just about as well as their team did last season.
15. New York Giants
Average attendance: 78,701
Although the Jets were the better New York team in 2009, the Giants fans narrowly outshone the Jets fans. If I were a Giants fan, I would rather it be the other way around.
14. Denver Broncos
Invesco Field at Mile High
Average attendance: 75,116
A mile in the sky, an average of 75,116 fans pack into Invesco Field to watch their beloved Broncos. With the sweetest throwbacks in the league (see http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multimedia/photo_gallery/0910/nfl.afl.throwback.uniforms/images/matt-prater25209101.jpg) how could you pass up an opportunity to see the Broncos play?
13. Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium
Average attendance: 73,289
At 99 percent, the Carolina Panthers fans almost filled up the stadium every game. Lets hope, for their sake, that whoever starts at quarterback for the Panthers in 2010 is more appreciative, and more protective of the ball, than Jake Delhomme was in 2009.
12. San Francisco 49ers
Average attendance: 69,732
Ever since Mike Singletary became head coach of the 49ers, the team and the fans have been rejuvinated and energized. Expect the Niners to rise up this list as their young players mature in the near future.
11. Houston Texans
Average attendance: 70,608
For a team that has never made the playoffs, the Texans sure do have faithful fans. So faithful, in fact, that they almost sold out every game this season while going 9-7, a franchise record.
10. Minnesota Vikings
Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Average attendance: 63,775
The Vikings had the fourth smallest stadium in the NFL and the fourth best team in the NFL in 2009, but that was not enough to get the fans to fill the stadium every game. Maybe if they got a legendary quarterback like Brett Favre the fans would show up?
9. Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium
Average attendance: 63,142
Of all the NFL stadiums I have yet to see, University of Phoenix Stadium is the one I want to see the most. Cardinals fans seem to enjoy their stadium, for the most part, with their attendance record coming in at ninth.
8. New England Patriots
Average attendance: 68,756
From this point on, every team was able to reach at least 100 percent capacity. That being said, 100 percent capacity will only get the Patriots fans eighth on this list.
7. Tennessee Titans
Average attendance: 69,143
Despite a disappointing 8-8 season, including a 0-6 start, the Titans fans came out strong, selling out every single game in 2009.
6. Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium
Average attendance: 71,082
Easily one of the loudest fan bases in the league, they are also one of the most faithful, squeezing in 71,082 people into M&T Bank Stadium—that's 100.1 percent capacity.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Average attendance: 67,392
How about that beard?
4. Chicago Bears
Average attendance: 62,250
The Bears ranking could be a bit skewed, considering they have the smallest stadium in the league, and are located in the third biggest city in America. But you can't blame the Bears fans for the predicament in which they have been placed and it's a safe assumption that they would sell out most stadiums in the league if given the opportunity.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field
Average attendance: 69,144
By far the worst fans in the league; I mean, who throws snowballs at Santa? They do, however, do a good job of showing up and cheering on the Eagles.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
Average attendance: 66,549
For Colts fans, life has been good in the past decade. Since 1999, they have had a combined record of 128-48, and as someone once said, "Life is easy when the living's good."
1. Dallas Cowboys
Average attendance: 89,756
The Cowboys lead the league in average attendance, 89,756, total attendance, 718,055, and single game attendance, 105,121, just to name a few. I guess that's just something you have to expect from "America's Team."
Think your team deserves a better rep? Post your feedback in the comments section!