Facts don’t lie. The team at ticket brokers “TicketCity” recently shared with me the results of their first annual survey of NFL Fans and the teams they love. The objective was to measure which NFL teams had the fans that were the most engaged with their team. Not surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team” was the hands-down winner!
The study was designed to identify the fan bases that engage most frequently with their team both online and offline and was based on data collected from the 2012 season. They used 7 different metrics and weighted them to reflect differing degrees of actual fan interaction that each activity represents. Here are the metrics used and their respective weights:
- Average total attendance, all games (5)
- Average home attendance (10)
- Average ticket price (5)
- Average home ticket price (10)
- Percentage of home stadium seating capacity used at home games (10)
- Facebook likes (3)
- Twitter following (3)
While most fans of other NFL teams might have a problem with either the metrics or the weighting, no one can argue with the fact that the folks at TicketCity decided what the metrics and weighting would be independent of anyone else. Last I checked ticket agencies are in the business to sell as many NFL tickets as they can – so they have no allegiance to any one team. But, it is useful information to know which teams have the fans that want to go see the games the most and are active on line (where they can potentially reach them). It would do them no good to load up on Jacksonville Jaguars vs St. Louis Rams tickets for example if both of their fan bases are somewhat lukewarm about going to a game. It’s simple supply and demand economics!
So, without further delay, here are the overall results which take all of the metrics and weighting into account.
As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys’ fan base dominates the rankings! That’s not too surprising if you’ve ever attended a Cowboys game home or away. This team travels extremely well as there are Cowboys fans all across this country. It was downright embarrassing (and exciting) when I used to live in Arizona and would attend a Cowboys/Cardinals game and see 75% of the stadium wrapped in Cowboys colors. But, that isn’t that unusual – except maybe in Oakland where you literally take your life in your hands showing up in an opposing team’s jersey.
Looking at the rest of the NFC East, the Giants came in 4th overall – behind the Patriots and Packers and nearly 15 percentage points behind the Cowboys. Of course, you have to take into account that they share their market and to a certain extent their potential fan base with the Jets (who came in 15th). The Philadelphia Eagles were next at #10 and the Washington Redskins somewhat surprisingly came in last among NFC East teams at #13, despite winning the division on the field in 2012. I’ll bet Redskin tickets were a lot harder to get at the end of the season than after the first 6 games - not to mention that ’Skins fans are some of the most deranged in the NFL. Regardless of the score or the team’s record, they sing that stupid ”HTTR” song no matter what. Hate that thing! The last Cowboys game I attended at Cowboys Stadium in 2011 was against the Redskins and a fan with an honest to goodness indian head dress sat right behind me. (Felt most sorry for the people who paid all that money and had to sit behind him). Of course, he slinked away head dress in hand when the Cowboys won!
Among the individual metrics, the Cowboys also came out on top for Highest Average Home Attendance, Highest Average Total Attendance, and Highest Percent of Stadium Capacity Used At Home Games (over 100% because of the Standing Room Only tickets sold). The Cowboys also registered over a half a million more “likes” on Facebook than the next closest team. The Cowboys were second to the Patriots on Twitter followers but were the only NFC East team to crack the top 5. And, the Cowboys accomplished all of that attendance with the second highest average median home ticket price ($231) and the fourth highest average ticket price for all games home and away. It’s not cheap to see the Cowboys! But, their fans can’t stay away from the team they love!
Here are the top-5 rankings for the individual metrics:
Now, it’s time for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys to pay back all of that dedication and love with a winning performance on the field! Win or lose, we will likely continue to come to the games – but it sure is a lot more fun when they are winning! This is our year! Better get your tickets now. Go Cowboys!
Thanks again to the team at TicketCity – specifically Jaclyn Lambert - for sharing the information. For reference, here are the sources they used for the data.