St. Louis Rams Attendance Myths

Sam Bradford

Sam the Ram Bradford made his solid debut for the Rams last week but it seems that the attendance levels have big one of the biggest topics this week. This is bringing the usual dose of Rams and St. Louis bashing. So my advice to anyone planning to do some bashing is simple. Get your facts straight first.

Myth #1: St. Louis can’t support a team unless its winning Superbowls

1995: The Rams were the new thing in town so it should come as no surprise they sold out despite being 4-12 the year before. Record 7-9

1996: Record 6-10: Once again Sold Out

1997: Record 5-11: Sell Out

1998: Record 4-12: Sell Out

1999: Record 13-3 Superbowl Victory: Sell Out

2000: Record 10-6: Sell Out

2001: Record 14-2: Sell Out

2002: Record 7-9: Sell Out

2003: Record 12-4: Sell Out

2004: Record 8-8: Sell Out

2005: Record 6-10: Sell Out

2006: Record 8-8: Sold out every game except last home game

So there you have 11 seasons of mixed performance. Good, bad it didn’t matter. The team sold out 95 consecutive home games! If the fans were as fair weather as most accuse them of being then this streak would’ve ended in ’96 or ’97 once the luster of being new wore off. You can also go back and look at the attendance of the St. Louis Football Cardinals. Despite many, many bad seasons attendance was always relatively high.

And during 2007-09, the team only won 6 games. That’s 6-42. Despite that, there was still 16 home sell-outs.

Myth #2 St. Louis is a baseball town & can’t support Football

As the numbers above show, there is plenty of fan support in St. Louis. The issue is recent years is simple. The quality of play on the field has not been NFL quality & during poor economic times no team will sell out when it’s that bad. No one is going to spend $400 to take their family to a game in which the home team will likely be losing by 3 touchdowns by the end of the first half. Look around, St. Louis isn’t the only NFL team not selling out now. And the fans in St. Louis may not be the “most passionate” fans in the league but they are still great fans. Did you hear the noise level Sunday? It certainly sounded much louder than the reported attendance numbers. And it’s also worth noting that the TV Ratings for that game were the highest they’ve been in years.

In St. Louis teams have to show heart. It isn’t just about winning Superbowls. The last few seasons this team has:

  • Lacked talent
  • Not spent money on Free Agents: See 2009 NFL team payrolls
  • Had Poor Drafts
  • Gone Through Coaching Changes
  • Had NO owner
  • No Heart or Desire to Win

Each of those factors is a major issue on its own. But having all of them at once is a very serious problem.

The Future In St. Louis

Currently things are looking bright. Stan Kroenke has finally been approved as owner and that should enable the team payroll to greatly increase. The team had a good draft and landed a franchise QB in Bradford. Steve Spagnuolo is going strong into his 2nd year as Head Coach. This season will have its rough patches but improvement will be shown. As the team improves and shows signs of effort the fans will come back. Hopefully they come back before it’s time for stadium negotiations.

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