Once again, a football game has been played where pictures circulated showing empty stadium seats and once again, an NFL team has released numbers contradictory to those images. The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams combined for a hugely exciting game on Thursday, but it looked like a fairly sparse crowd was able to enjoy the action.
The 49ers tend to disagree. They released attendance figures for the evening and say that more than 60,000 people physically attended the game, according to figures from Pro Football Talk. The 49ers also claim that they distributed 97 percent of the 68,500 available tickets for the game.
Many factors could be at play for the fact that there were what appeared to be thousands of empty seats. The biggest is the fact that the 49ers’ new stadium is terrible and half of the crowd is in danger of physically bursting into flames while sitting in their assigned seats, even in the evening.
As noted by PFT, the 49ers has six different club areas with open-air concourses throughout the stadium and those areas are very popular. The 49ers also typically have a later-arriving crowd and the game was in primetime, which clashes with rush hour traffic, so there is that.
Finally, the 49ers themselves put out their own pictures showing few empty seats. That’s just how this thing goes — it’s probably going to continue looking like the stadium is empty and sometimes that might even be true. But the 49ers don’t necessarily have a massive attendance problem — just a dangerous stadium problem.