‘Boy, It’s Empty:’ Sparse Attendance Called out for Lions vs. Vikings

Lions Fans

Getty Lions fans dressed in holiday attire for a 2021 game against the Vikings.

The Detroit Lions are struggling through a 0-10-1 season, and perhaps unsurprisingly, fans aren’t that revved-up about the opportunity to watch them late in a lost season.

As the Lions all but play out the string the rest of the way, it’s clear the fans have begun to tune things out on their end, at least in terms of attending home games. Prior to the team’s battle with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13, there were plenty of empty seats at Ford Field.

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As the game was getting underway, it was impossible for folks in the media including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press not to notice how many folks were not showing up for the game. As Birkett said, his commute to the stadium was fairly easy given the lack of fans.

Fans themselves in attendance couldn’t believe how empty the game was when they got a closer look at it inside Ford Field.

As more media folks joked such as Larry Lage of the Associated Press, the Lions might have actually managed more empty seats than fans for the game.

Detroit’s struggles on the field have made generating buzz difficult, so it will be interesting to follow and see if the team manages to have more attendance problems the rest of the way in 2021.

Lions Attendance Dragging Behind in 2021 Season

It’s not a surprise to see the Lions attendance dragging behind. This season as a whole, the team hasn’t exactly been packing the fans in, given the team ranks 31st in the league in total attendance. This year, the Lions have only had a total of 264,540 fans in Ford Field. That’s an average of 52,908 fans this year, which is just barely ahead of the Washington Football Team. As a whole, Ford Field seats 75,000 people, so the fact the Lions are lagging this far behind is tough for the team. At the same time, it’s easy to understand why fans might be coming to games less and less for the Lions. COVID-19 pandemic has continued to rage most of the season, and combined with that, the Lions haven’t played well. For those reasons, the team may be lagging behind in a bigger way in terms of attendance.

How Lions Can Improve Attendance for 2022 Season

Obviously, the easiest way for a team to improve their attendance is to create a buzz and win. The offseason offers the Lions a shot at creating a buzz, given they are likely to have the top pick in the draft and multiple selections high up the board. The team can also sign some free agents and make some bold moves. Then, once the 2022 season arrives, the Lions would be advised to get off to a faster start to build some hope and confidence with the fans. If everyone can check out by late season like in years past, it could be another desperate year for attendance.

Winning could help cure plenty of ills for the Lions overall, but particularly with regards to avoiding the empty seats they have seen late in 2021.

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