For the first time since kicking off the XFL saw a dip in overall attendance between the weekend’s four games. In week 4, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, New York, and Dallas hosted games. Overall, the league posted an attendance number of 70,214. While that isn’t the lowest number for a full week this season (Week One, 69,818) it does raise some negative signs for the league.
Up until week four, the league had been seeing a rather steady climb in overall numbers. From week one to week two, the league’s overall attendance rose 9.26% (to 76,285). From week two to week three attendance rose 7.41% (to 81,942). Now, from week three to week four attendance dropped 14.31% (to 70,214). There could be a few factors that played into this trend.
First, let’s take a look at the attendance breakdown from week three:
Week 3 Attendance Numbers:— XFLNewsHub (@XFLNewsHub) February 24, 2020
Tampa Bay: 18,117
St. Louis: 29,554
Los Angeles: 12,211
Week 1: 69,818
Week 2: 76,285#XFLFootball #XFL2020 #ForTheLoveOfFootball
Having almost 82k in attendance was probably something the XFL never thought they could achieve in year one, never mind having it come in the first month of the season. In reality, the fact that St. Louis and Seattle hosted games in the same week was what provided the biggest boost to the number.
Week 3 was St. Louis’ home opener, and that fanbase is going to continue to dominate attendance numbers all season long. And even though we saw Seattle as a boost to the overall number, they still saw a 24.3% drop in attendance from their home opener (29,172) to their second home game (22,060).
The double-digit dip in attendance can be analyzed the same way. In week four, Tampa Bay was hosting their second straight game at home with an 0-3 record. It was expected they would have a severe drop off from their home opener which was third highest in the league at 18,117. In addition, the New York Guardians hosted their second home game coming off of two straight loses and an injury to Matt McGloin.
Turned out both teams saw attendance numbers under 12,500. Tampa Bay with 12,249 and New York with 12,116. Weather in New York could have played a factor in lower attendance. The game saw snow flurries and was the coldest game on record for the XFL this season.
Overall, while these numbers are still encouraging for a Spring football league, it creates a massive drop-off from the Seattle’s and St. Louis’ of the league.
In fact, besides Dallas, every team in the league saw a drop in attendance between their first and second home games.
#XFL Attendance: Through Wk. 4 (2 HG ea.)— Brian Lombardo (@Brian_Lombardo) March 2, 2020
Numbers showing change from gm. 1 to 2 & (Avg. Attn.)
STL ⬇️6.85% (28,541)
SEA ⬇️ 24.3% (25,616)
TB ⬇️ 32.3% (15,183)
HOU ⬇️ 3.99% (17,459)
NY ⬇️ 31.2% (14,875)
DAL ⬆️6.5% (17,769)
DC ⬇️ 12.4% (16,097)
LA ⬇️ 18.4% (13,595)@XFLNewsHub
In the tweet above, while attendance averages are still where the league wants them (between 14-18k), something will have to change to slow the dip in attendance.
Looking ahead, in week five Houston, Dallas, DC and LA host home games. Based on averages, the XFL will see an attendance number lower than it’s week one figure of 69k.
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What kind of attendance averages did the AAF have in their brief one year existence?