If you were a casual fan tuning in to watch NFL games this Sunday and didn’t know where the games were being played, no one would have blamed you at first glance for thinking the road game was actually the home team. Apparently, teams have figured out how to fight back against poor attendance and the answer is…let the opposing fanbase take over your stadium.
We start in Los Angeles. Well, just outside of Los Angeles to be honest. The Chargers have had a tough time trying to fill their temporary soccer stadium home in Carson while they wait to take up tenancy in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Between pissing off their traditional fanbase in San Diego and being completely unintegrated with LA, the team has struggled to put local butts in seats. The solution appears to be to play teams with fanbases relatively nearby as much as possible. Case in point, all of the Denver Broncos fans who took over Dignity Health Sports Park today.
— Derek Togerson (@DerekNBCSD) October 6, 2019
The “home-field advantage” for the Broncos was so clear that even the announcers mentioned it.
— Sean K (@SeanK5) October 6, 2019
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., there isn’t a lot of hope for the NFL’s Washington franchise. They’re 0-5, don’t seem to have any idea what they’re doing on offense, and the mighty New England Patriots have come to town. While that sounds like terrible news for Washington fans, it appears to have brought out plenty of Patriots faithful looking to enjoy an easy win and a nice weekend in the nation’s capital.
The walk from the Metro to FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. pic.twitter.com/nQJfjTyz8t
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) October 6, 2019
Pictured: Not Foxboro pic.twitter.com/EJaWeNKyxj
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) October 6, 2019
Brady takes the field. So. Many. Patriots. Fans. pic.twitter.com/Klykzjd8wl
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 6, 2019
They should rename FedEx field “Gillette South.”
So many Patriots fans in Washington today. pic.twitter.com/7j7oJnEiAM
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) October 6, 2019
Speaking of AFC East fanbases taking over other stadiums, we turn our attention to Nashville where the Tennessee Titans were hosting the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. They were also hosting a whole bunch of Bills fans and, if we know anything about Bills Mafia, it’s that they intended to injure themselves jumping onto risky structures in the parking lot and taking over Nissan Stadium to support their 3-1 (now 4-1) team.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) October 5, 2019
Now that I’ve been in Nashville for like an hour, here’s the count
People wearing Bills gear: 86485438
Jean dresses: 2
Titans gear: 0
Step it up Titans fans
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) October 5, 2019
The amount of Bills fans to get in is INSANE. pic.twitter.com/ImPdMvpLXW
— Brædən McCarthy (@Bluejaysfan10) October 6, 2019
— Jeffrey R. Rabey Ph.D. (@JeffreyRabey) October 6, 2019
NFL fans traveling for their teams isn’t anything new, but it does feel a bit like certain fanbases are taking advantage of the woes of offer fanbases to build de facto home games wherever they go. It raises some interesting questions about how the league and franchises should be targeting their efforts when it comes to ticket sales and attendance. And if you are trying to build a true homefield advantage, you should just know that there are some fanbases who are actively going to prevent that from happening.
We suppose you won’t see anyone in the NFL complaining…except for the actual home team.