We see photos of Mercedes Benz Stadium with loads of empty seats at the start of nearly home game. Falcons fans have never been ones to get to the stadium early. Having been a season ticket holder, I can confirm it could easily take two hours to navigate through traffic, walk to the stadium, and get through security. I can’t blame the fans for being a little late on Sundays.
The biggest change in the new stadium is the lack of crowd noise. We have seen the crowd get loud in big games. However, Sunday’s game against the Titans was quiet. Even Titans corner Logan Ryan was surprised.
“They had no home field advantage. Titans fans are much better and much louder.”- @RealLoganRyan on Atlanta— The Midday 180 (@Midday180) October 1, 2019
It’s tough to disagree with Ryan here. Crowd noise rarely seems to be an issue for opposing offenses during the game. The new stadium has certainly been much quieter than the Georgia Dome.
The team’s exceedingly expensive tickets. First, the Falcons stopped selling single-game tickets, forcing most fans to purchase multi-game packages or buy tickets on the secondary market. Second, and more importantly, the team’s expensive PSLs forced out a number of long-time season ticket holders. The number of corporations with season tickets has certainly increased, and the home field advantage has been less of an advantage.
Importantly, the Falcons are not fun to watch. This is a bad product. The team doesn’t even need to win to keep things interesting. However, going down early to a bad Titans team makes them unwatchable. Who is honestly dishing out $100+ per ticket to watch what we saw on Sunday? We see a lot of the expensive PSL seats empty, so a lot of season ticket holders, corporate or not, have decided it’s not even worth going to. The Falcons had trouble selling PSLs during their unwatchable 2014 season because it was a chore to watch the team.
In an attempt to have the best stadium in the NFL, Arthur Blank overlooked how to keep the best fans in the stadium. You only need to look at Atlanta United games. They are a stark contrast to Sunday’s Falcons game. Why? Fans have not been priced out and the team is exciting to watch.