Whether by hook, by crook or by bandwagon fans alone, the Atlanta Falcons have now sold the most season tickets for the upcoming season ever in their history. At a time when the economy and NFL ticket sales are on a downslide, the Falcons are on an upward swing.
Not bad, guys. Not bad at all.
But what’s behind the upswing?
Over 90 percent of last year’s season ticketholders renewed for 2013, and those numbers are not a coincidence by any stretch of the imagination. The Falcons have one of the most devoted fan bases in the NFL. The diehard fans will continue to come no matter how the economy may or may not affect them. This is their team, their family, their hopes, their dreams…and they’ll continue the journey they’ve embarked on for so long.
Perhaps it’s the tradition of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons’ time in the Dome is coming to an end sooner than later. The new stadium currently seems more geared to the corporate money than to the average fans, and how that will play out in the grand scheme of the future remains to be seen. The nostalgia of what they—the fans—are losing could easily have spurred ticket sales to an all-time high, but it certainly wouldn’t be the only reason.
Maybe the lure of being closer than ever to a Super Bowl is bringing in the ticketholders. When the Falcons do make it to the Super Bowl, so many fans want to be a part of that prestigious event and wear it as a badge of honor…especially the ones who were there and will continue to be there through the lean years and beyond. The bandwagon fans see the writing on the Falcons’ walls and will no doubt want to be a part of this revolution, no matter how much a bane to the diehards’ existence they are.
And, all brands of fans notwithstanding, the NFL is still a business. Setting records for ticket sales is newsworthy and brings attention—and more sales—to the business.
Hopefully the sport itself—and the fans—won’t be totally lost in the corporate shuffle.