Week two of the XFL is in the books and unless you've been under a rock, you've seen the word "Attendance" in the headlines a bit. Between the record turn out in Seattle to the disappointing one in Los Angeles, the XFL has some telling numbers when it comes to attendance for the first two weeks. In comparison to the AAF or Aliance of American Football the TV numbers aren't really comparable seeing the XFL vitally scored a much better TV deal than the AAF. When you snap a shot however of the physical turn out at for both leagues through the opening weeks it tells a rather interesting story.
The XFL has been seen as a success in the most part through the opening weeks with TV numbers being good and turnout being pretty decent at best. Week two told two rather different stories and one really has the XFL concerned. First lets start with the good, the Seattle Dragons had their home opener where they defeated the Tampa Bay Vipers with just over 29K people in attendance. This number breaking opening weekend's attendance record set by the Houston Roughnecks at 17.8K people. This showed a lot of hope for the XFL and for fans of the league as Seattle pulled through to hit the 29K attendance threshold so often met by the AAF's San Antonio Commanders. To top that according to reports the televised game between Seattle/Tampa rated a 7.6 and 22% share of the Seattle-Tacoma viewing market which is impressive seeing the game turn out. Seattle will have to continue to have record turn out and hopefully push the 35K+ by seasons end if they have more success.
Now on to the concerning and underlining story at hand here, that is the rest of the league is struggling with turn out. It is worth to note that St. Louis has yet to play at home and their numbers will along with Seattle need to carry the League if something doesn't change. Most reports coming this week are going to pump the Seattle victory, as a select few point to the failure in Los Angeles with heavy ridicule. If you are questioning the turnout in Los Angeles you are in good reason. I understand we all know there is a lot to do in LA but with that being said the numbers need to be better. This is the flashiest XFL city and the turnout is horrid. Week One the LA Wildcats saw a Roughnecks crowd lead the XFL in turnout with 17,815 however in week two they only managed to muster just under 15K at 14,979 a 17% decrease in attendance in their own stadium in LA. That is not going to make it happen if you are to be the poster team of the XFL in the most lucrative market. The Wildcats are not alone either, Cardale Jones and the undefeated DC Defenders had a decrease in attendance as well by about 13% playing at home in back to back weeks. The League is up week over week in attendance by about 8.85% but due in large part to the turn out in Seattle. DC playing at home in back to back weeks experienced double digit decreases and the Houston Roughnecks only recorded 17,103 in week two, a huge drop from Week one. To say Seattle swayed the numbers this week is an under statement for sure.
This is not bashing the XFL, I'm a fan of all things football but the XFL needs to find a way to better drive fans to games and not experience a even steeper decrease in attendance. Seattle and St. Louis can't be the only two teams people show up to see or the league will be gone quicker than yesterday's subway. If you were to compare the XFL to the failed AAF you may be slightly surprised, the AAF averaged just over 19K in attendance for the first two weeks as the XFL has averaged just over 18K in that exact time. The underlining story is the San Antonio Commanders carried that league as long as they could before more than we have time for did the whole thing in, but they experienced a dip in attendance that the XFL needs to avoid. The major markets in LA and DC playing on both opening weeks can't experience double digit decreased turnout. Something needs to be done to get butts in seats, either splashy signings or something else. Something needs to be done.
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