We've had plenty of discussions this season about how to "hold Jed York accountable" for the mess in which this franchise now sits. We saw the banner flying over Levi's Stadium on Sunday, but I would argue the in-game crowd delivered a more significant message.
The game will likely be announced as a sell-out, but it was clear there were no-shows and people leaving early. It was cold, so some people likely stayed inside the club levels, but there were clearly a lot of no-shows for the game. The picture below is at the 3:03 mark in the third quarter, but there are plenty of other stadium shots to find on Twitter.
4:04 left in the 3rd. Here's your seat update. pic.twitter.com/RvIDcjh9xM— Jennifer Chan (@jenniferleechan) December 20, 2015
After the game, 49ers players were asked about the poor attendance. Torrey Smith and NaVorro Bowman this to say:
Torrey Smith on the low attendance: We love the fans but I don't blame them. We aren't playing well, it's not fun to watch.— Jennifer Chan (@jenniferleechan) December 21, 2015
Bowman on fan attendance: The fans are probably fed up, but to see them come out and still cheering us on, when they got up, we felt it.— Jennifer Chan (@jenniferleechan) December 21, 2015
The 49ers have one more home game, facing the St. Louis Rams in Week 17. It will be interesting to see how attendance is for that game. The team is likely going to be either 4-11 or 5-10, facing a Rams team that was eliminated from playoff contention this week. Will fans stay home rather watching two bad teams, or will they show up since it's the last game they'll see until next August?
Either way, turnstile attendance has taken a hit. The Yorks still get their PSL and season ticket money, but lower in-person attendance means fewer people buying food, drinks, merchandise, parking, and so forth. It is not all that comparable to television money, but it is one way fans are able to hold Jed York at least a little bit accountable for something.