The cost of tickets for NFL games have plummeted. According to SeatGeek, a popular ticket marketplace and sports aggregator, tickets for several games held at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH are selling for $10 or less. For some of the best seats in the stadium, one only needs to fork over a measly $31. Compared to the average $100-$200 that NFL tickets typically go for, the bottom-dollar rates seen this year made be indicative of a serious problem in the billion dollar football industry.
Last year, the NFL lost approximately one million well-seasoned viewers, equating a 6% decrease in overall viewership when compared to rates in 2013 and 2014. However, Forbes reported that when the scope of telecast and weeks in the current season are taken into account, the NFL has lost approximately 20% of its audience since 2013.
Although one could blame the sudden decline in viewership on a sudden plague that has wiped out 20% of all NFL fans, a more plausible theory revolves around the antics initiated by Colin Kaepernick in his refusal to stand or honor the national anthem of the United States during football games. Perhaps one of the most extreme instances of NFL players taking politics onto the field lies with the Oakland Raiders, who allowed their quarterback to be sacked multiple times over his refusal to “take a knee.” One of the Raiders stated, “He wants to stand alone, he can stand alone on the field,” (you can listen to the audio recording here).
Nobody wants to attend these football games, and the reason why is blatantly obvious. The NFL will not implement any rule regarding standing or honoring the national anthem, and as such, what has been classically heralded as “the American sport” is losing its American audience.
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