A packed Linc? NFL commissioner expects full stadiums in 2021


Remember the days when Lincoln Financial Field was packed to the gills? When the roar of the crowd was deafening? When tailgaters began drinking and grilling soon after the sun rose?

It looks like those days are returning.

Goodell said Tuesday that the NFL expects to have full stadiums for the 2021 season, according to a story on NFL.com.

Although most NFL teams had a limited number of fans for some or all games last year, COVID restrictions throughout the country reduced attendance league-wide to about 1.2 million last year, or about 6 1/2 percent of total capacity.

The Cowboys led the league with about 219,000 fans, or about 30 percent of capacity.

League-wide attendance was well over 17 million every year from 2003 through 2019.

So about 16 million seats sat empty during the 2020 NFL season.

The Eagles had roughly 5,000 fans for three of their eight home games, although the NFL officially lists them as attendance of zero. Capacity at the Linc is just under 70,000, and the Eagles draw just over 558,000 fans per year to their eight regular-season home games.

That means the Linc alone had over half a million empty seats during the 2020 football season. That’s a fortune not only in lost ticket sales but in parking, merchandise and concession sales.

The regular season is still a little over five months away, and there are a lot of unknowns regarding COVID, vaccines and health and safety.

But Goodell seems confident that by this fall, we’ll be back to normal enough for the familiar sounds of cheering — and booing — ringing out in South Philly.

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