Saints top the NFL when it comes to filling stadium

Saints fans lead league in attendance vs. stadium capacity
Saints fans lead league in attendance vs. stadium capacity

New Orleans, La. -- The New Orleans Saints rate first in the NFL by arguably the most important measure of fan loyalty: actually buying tickets to a game.

A Wall Street Journal article notes the Saints led the league last season in stadium attendance vs. capacity.

League numbers show the Saints game attendance averages 107.4 percent of the total capacity of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The league plans changes to make the in-stadium experience more attractive to fans, including allowing fans to watch the same instant replays the referees see during reviews of controversial calls.

Stadiums will also feature wireless Internet and the league is working to create smartphone apps that could let fans listen to players wearing microphones on the field, the Journal reported.

NFL owners also voted recently to soften the local TV blackout rule, even when as few as 85 percent of the stadium seats have sold.

Although NFL games are wildly popular on television, the league has suffered a slight drop in actual game attendance, declining each of the past five years.

Attendance is off 4.5 percent since 2007.

In contrast, last year's Superdome attendance of 73,041 easily eclipsed the stadium's football capacity of 68,000.

Greg Bensel, the Saints vice-president of communications, tweeted "New Orleans and Saints fans continue to defy odds and lead the NFL in overall attendance by FAR."

Even during a tough off season, Bensel said "fans continue to lead the way with a 99.6% renewal and a waiting list to buy suites."