Attendance at UFL games begins with a moderate start

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The NFL had a rule called the blackout rule for a long time. They wanted games shown on TV to look important, with lots of people in the stands. It’s the same the other way around; if the stands are empty, it’s harder for fans at home to get excited to watch.

This has been a problem for spring football in recent years. From the AAF in 2019 to the XFL in 2020 and the USFL in 2022 and 2023, and now the XFL again in 2023. Except for a few cities like St. Louis, where fans have embraced the team, most games have had a lot of empty seats, especially in the lower sections.

Yesterday, the UFL’s first games had okay attendance, which wasn’t surprising. The game between the Birmingham Stallions and the Arlington Renegade had 14,153 fans. The second game, with the Michigan Panthers and the St. Louis Battlehawks, had 9,444 fans at Ford Field.

It might have been smarter to have the Battlehawks play at home. They would have had more fans right away, which could have helped build some excitement. But these are the numbers these leagues usually get.

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It’s probably better to play in smaller stadiums with fewer seats, so there aren’t empty seats on TV. Because seeing lots of empty seats makes it seem like no one cares.

The other part of this is the TV ratings. Fox showed two games yesterday, and ESPN will show two more today. But this isn’t the best weekend to try and get good ratings. The NCAA basketball tournament is going on, and baseball season just started.

While it’s possible to start quietly and get more popular over time, it’s better to start with a big impact. The UFL, which is a new league and didn’t use the more famous XFL or USFL names, needs to make a bigger splash if it wants to make enough money to last.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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