When you look at these attendance figures it looks like Jacksonville is below average when it comes to average attendance per game. We hear of blackouts and how the fans don't support the team. But let's take a look at this from a different angle. Let's see how much support the team draws from the surrounding metropolitan area.
Jacksonville is the 40th most populated area in the United States with a 2008 census total of 1,300,000. The top 10 are: NY (19,000,000), LA (12,800,000), Chicago (9,500,000), Dallas (6,300,000), Philadelphia (5,800,000), Houston (5,700,000), Miami (5,400,000), Atlanta (5,375,000), Washington DC (5,350,000) and Boston (4,500,000).
Now if you divide the home attendance by the surrounding area you get the percentage of the population showing up at home games. Although not a perfect metric, it is a real good indicator of the support the team receives. The top 5 teams in support are: NO Saints (6.3%), Buffalo (6.1%), Jacksonville (4.96%), Green Bay (4.5%) and Tennessee (4.4%). The bottom five with excess stadium capacity are Giants/Jets (.83%), Cowboys (1.01%), Atlanta (1.19%), Miami (1.21%) and Detroit (1.24%). The average across all NFL cities is 2.63% of the population shows up for home games.
When we talk about lack of support look at the Rams at 90% capacity and 2.13% support. Look at the Cowboys with a stadium at 97% capacity and only 1.01% support. Look at Tampa Bay with seats available and receives 2.36% support. Look to San Francisco with 1.58% support.
In short, Jacksonville loves its team and shows up for the games. Jacksonville was a great choice for the NFL because it does have support and it is a growing city.
In the list of top metropolitan areas, as I said, Jacksonville is number 40. There are not that many areas above them in population that don't already have a team. In fact, only LA is looking. There is simply no where better to go in the United States other than LA for the Jaguars. This city has the size and the support of the fans and is growing. The city and the team have a very good stadium contract that keeps the cost low for the Jaguars. The data shows Jacksonville is a much stronger market for football than California. No California team draws the support like Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo or Cleveland and certainly not like Jacksonville.
So we can rant and moan and profess our dismay over how Jacksonville doesn't support the team. The facts are they do and they do it in numbers much bigger than most of the other NFL cities. From now on when someone posts a comment about how the fans here are front runners and uneducated and unsupportive, tell them the facts.