Yahoo is running an article on their homepage listing 12 franchises that are losing fans, and as you may have gleaned from the title, the report is inaccurate. The research was based off of the difference in average attendance for those teams from 2001 to 2010. They list the Lions’ attendance figures down 25.18% from 2001, but they completely overlook the fact that the Lions play in a different stadium than they did in 2001.
The Pontiac Silverdome was the Lions’ home in 2001 and it seated 80,311 fans for football games. The Lions current home, Ford Field, which they moved to in 2002, seats 65,000 fans for football games. Ford Field seats 19.06% fewer fans than the Silverdome, so naturally attendance would decrease dramatically if the number of seats decreased as well. Factoring in the decrease in seating capacity, the Lions’ attendance has declined 6.12% since 2001, which isn’t bad considering the poor economy and terrible record of the team from 2001-2009.
However, the even more inaccurate aspect of the article is measuring fan base by attendance figures. You cannot measure a teams’ fans by the number of tickets they sell. Just because fans aren’t at the games doesn’t mean they aren’t fans.
Overall, this article is basically on par with most of Yahoo’s headlines. It’s poorly researched, lacks context and provides little to no actual relevant information.