Vikings Have Lowest NFL Home Attendance, But Numbers Mislead


The Minnesota Vikings sit at the bottom of a list regarding the number of fans that go to their home home games.  Hardcore fans may be disappointed by learning that fewer fans attended Vikings games during the 2014 NFL season, but there are a couple really good reasons why that is so.

First, let’s look at the chart that can be found on ESPN’s website.  The Dallas Cowboys sit at the top of the list, with the New York Giants and Jets sitting in 2nd and 3rd place.  Sitting down at the bottom with 53,238 fans attended per game is the Minnesota Vikings.  Let’s take a couple looks at why this is:

  1. The stadium the Vikings play at is smaller.  You can’t fill a stadium too far past capacity.  As you can see from the teams at the top of the list, most of those teams play in the newer stadiums with tons of seating.  Since Minnesota is currently playing at the University of Minnesota, their current capacity is 52,525.  When you compare that to the limits in Dallas (80,000) and New York (82,566), you can tell that the Vikings never even had a chance to be near the top of the list.
  2. Weather can be a deterrent.  Let’s be honest, sitting outside in the cold in Minnesota isn’t very appealing for many people even when watching the Vikings.  That excuse is a bit fragile when you notice other cold weather teams like Green Bay at #4 in attendance, but the Packers have been a much more successful franchise in recent history.
  3. Attendance percentage tells a different story.  When you find the number that should be in the “PCT” column for the Vikings, it changes things a bit for this list.  The University of Minnesota stadium reached 99.45% capacity over the 2014 NFL season.  That would place them #13 in filling the available seats for each home game.  A much more impressive stat for Vikings fans.

Information like this is how numbers can be presented in different ways to get different results.  Most casual fans wouldn’t think to consider factors such as stadium size, the weather, or sorting by different qualifiers.  Instead, this list makes it appear as though the Minnesota Vikings don’t get much support from their loyal fanbase.

And we all know that isn’t true.  Vikings fans are some of the most passionate individuals that I’ve ever met.  It will be interesting to revisit these numbers once Minnesota moves into their new stadium for the 2016 NFL season.

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