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New Era Field at 96% capacity on average for 2019 Buffalo Bills

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NFL: DEC 29 Jets at BillsPhoto by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills nearly filled their stadium

The fans of the Buffalo Bills have a bit of a reputation for supporting their team, including a few “takeovers” in hostile territory this year. How did we do defending our own dirt this year? Sure, you’ve read the title. But that’s just a hint.

Attendance at New Era Field in 2019

As the title suggests, New Era Field attendance averaged 96% of the stadium’s capacity in 2019. Which sounds fantastic. Let’s check in on some fast facts before we explore that idea.

  • New Era Field can hold 71,608 fans. By capacity it’s the tenth-largest stadium in the league (12th if you count extended capacity for Jacksonville and Minnesota)
  • Average attendance in 2019 was 68,839 fans
  • The highest-attended game was in Week 4 as the undefeated Bills hosted the undefeated New England Patriots, where 70,317 people poured in Orchard Park for that one
  • The season-low of 67,338 featured a sputtering Denver Broncos squad. Overall, fan attendance was remarkably consistent

Buffalo vs. Everyone

Yeah, 96% should feel pretty good. How does it stack up to the rest of the league though? As it turns out, that’s pretty average. If we go off of each stadium’s “normal” capacity, the Bills are tied for 18th with Kansas City. If we adjust to take out the Chargers’ attendance percent (I’ll explain in a minute) and factor in that several teams can expand their seating the Bills move all the way up to...15th. And still tied with Kansas City.

I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Luckily, thanks to pro-football-reference.com (attendance figures) and Wikipedia.org (stadium capacity and metro populations) I have a heck of a sortable table for you. You’ll want to be in desktop mode for this one so you can play around with it yourself.

The Table and a few interesting facts

I tried my best to give information that I thought would answer most fan questions. If you’re looking for game-by-game attendance, you can find it right here. Here’s some fun stuff I wanted to know and/or discovered during the journey:

  • Because I’m petty, I wanted to know how much the annual Wembley Stadium game impacted the Jaguars. So there’s two Jacksonville rows, the “-London” row removes the Wembley attendance. With London included it put them over 90% capacity for the year, but that is an artificial inflation. They drop to 87% if we only look at their actual home. When we factor in that the tarped-off sections COULD be sold and that the team has no reason to avoid making more money, their capacity filled drops to the second lowest in the league at 73.2% #DUUUUUVAAAAAAL.
  • More teams than Jacksonville played international games. The only other team I adjusted for though was the Chargers as their Mexico City game put them at 117% capacity on average which was too far out of whack for me to let sit. Removing Mexico City had them drop to 94% which sounds pretty good for a temporary location until you realize that the seating capacity of said location is only 27,000 fans.
  • I was a bit shocked to see that the Pittsburgh Steelers were so close to the bottom of the list.
  • Go ahead and sort the list by “capacity.” Remember Buffalo is the tenth largest stadium. Of the nine larger venues, and ten teams, only three had a higher percentage of their stadium filled (Houston, Denver, and New Orleans).
  • Even factoring in expandable stadiums, that adds two additional larger stadiums (Jacksonville and Minnesota). Neither team came close to the Bills.
  • Keep the sorting the same (stadium capacity) but now look at the metro population column. Of the three teams that had a higher percentage of their stadium filled than Buffalo, two of them have significantly larger populations to pull from. New Orleans is quite comparable so being honest you gotta give those fans a tip of the hat.
  • Speaking of the population column, only Green Bay has a smaller immediate fan base to pull from. Only the aforementioned Saints, Jaguars, and Titans join the Packers and Bills in the “under 2,000,000 club.”
  • One last consideration, these are all “paid attendance” figures. To illustrate what I mean by that the Super Bowl was listed as having 62,417 paid attendees which is only 95.5% of Hard Rock Stadium’s seating capacity. It’s probable that these numbers are often lower than the actual amount of butts in seats for a variety of reasons.

The primary takeaway from all of the above is that the NFL is not struggling to get fans through the gates.

View the full article

The Buffalo Bills....










To Fitzpatrick, Levitre, Kelsay, Mcgee, Barnett, Wilson, Jones, Nelson, Rinehart, McIntyre, Merriman, Shepperd, Scott, White, Wanny, and Mr. Chan Gailey...


It was real, it was fun, it just wasn't REAL FUN!






NEWVILLE MUD DAWGS FEVER BABY! We might not be very good right now, but we have infinite heart! Alot like the Bills! ;) HALLA!


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