The National Football League’s overall attendance was down slightly in 2018, falling 1.9 percent to 33.8 million from 34.5 million in 2017.
Overall, 13 teams grew home attendance, but only five added more than 1 percent to 2017 turnstile totals. Although the Atlanta Falcons season ended with a disappointing 7-9 campaign, and without a playoff berth, the team’s home attendance grew by 1.3 percent, from 575,681 in 2017 to 583,184 (72,898 average) in 2018. Those were the first two seasons played inside the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, owned by The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) co-founder Arthur Blank’s AMB Group LLC, the investment management and support services arm of Blank-owned businesses.
The Los Angeles Rams, which are playing in Los Angeles for the third year after moving from St. Louis, grew attendance the most. In its first year in the cavernous Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, the Rams drew a whopping 665,318 fans in 2016. Last year, after the first year honeymoon wore off, the Rams saw a 23.8 percent drop in 2017, so the stadium was reconfigured to seat about 15,000 fewer fans. With a playoff-bound team and tighter capacity, the Rams enjoyed the NFL’s only double-digit percentage gain from 2017. Its attendance grew 14.3 percent to 579,439.