The standard response to the many images of empty seats at NFL games in 2016 is that the tickets, while not used, were sold. In Cincinnati, that’s not the case.
According to the Cincinnati Business Courier (via SportsBusiness Daily), the Bengals failed to sell nearly 10,000 tickets to Monday night’s game against the Steelers.
The paid attendance for the game was 56,029. Paul Brown Stadium holds 65,515. It was the smallest crowd for a Steelers-Bengals game since 1995, when only 54,646 showed up for what was an AFC Central battle at Riverfront Stadium.
Bengals attendance has dropped 10 percent this year, with an average crowd of 54,367 per game. Apart from the team’s 5-7 record, the lack of local interest in the franchise could be the biggest factor in the potential decision by owner Mike Brown to move on from coach Marvin Lewis, after 15 years as the coach.