Lions’ sagging attendance at Ford Field drops them near NFL bottom

Detroit News

Detroit — With Michigan football pulling off two program-changing wins since the Detroit Lions last suited up against the Bears on Thanksgiving, it would make sense if some football fans around the state simply decided to take Sunday’s Lions game off.

Why kill the high?

It appears many Lions fans took that approach, as the paid attendance at Ford Field in Sunday’s 29-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings came in at just 45,691. That’s the fifth-lowest attendance figure in Ford Field’s near-20-year history (not including last year’s pandemic season). All of the other games with less came in 2009, when the team averaged just 49,395 paid attendees and was coming off an 0-16 season.

And now, with two games left on the schedule, the Lions are in a stiff competition with Washington Football Team for the league’s worst home attendance numbers. Detroit is ranked 31st and averaging 51,705 — a 15% drop off from an average of 61,342 during 2019 — and Washington comes in right behind it, with an average of 51,523 paid attendees. Jacksonville is a distant 30th, averaging 59,849.

Detroit does have a division game left on its home schedule (vs. Green Bay on the last game of the season) that could boost the numbers, although bringing a division rival to town didn’t seem to get butts in seats on this Sunday against Minnesota.

Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.

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