13 Pro Teams Running Out of Fans

Print Email

13. Miami Dolphins
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -17.1%
> 2001-2002 W-L record: 11-5 (1st in AFC East)
> 2011-2012 W-L record: 6-10 (3rd in AFC East)
> League championships last decade: None

Of all teams in the NFL, none has seen as big a decline in attendance as the Miami Dolphins. In the 2001-2002 season, the team brought in an average of 73,470 fans to watch home games, the seventh-highest in the NFL. By the 2011-2012 season, that figure dropped to 60,866, the fifth-lowest. In the last 10 full seasons,  the team has gone 60-84 and has had three consecutive losing seasons in a row. Its worst season by far was the 2007-2008 season, when the Dolphins won just one game. The team isn’t performing stellar this year either. Under the direction of Joe Philbin, the sixth head coach in 10 years, the team’s current record is 4-6.

Also Read: The Most Overpaid (and Underpaid) Fantasy Football Players

12. Milwaukee Bucks
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -19.0%
> 2001-2002 W-L record: 41-41 (5th in Central Division)
> 2011-2012 W-L record: 31-35 (3rd in Central Division)
> League championships last decade: None

In the 2001-2002 season, the average home game attendance for the Milwaukee Bucks was 18,178. That figure fell to 14,718 by the 2011-2012 season. The team has generally had sub par performance ever since it traded team star Ray Allen for Gary Payton, who just played out the remainder of the season before heading off to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the last 10 full seasons, the team has only notched three winning seasons. According to Forbes, the Milwaukee Bucks are considered the least valuable team in the NBA with a market value of just $268 million. The Lakers, considered the most valuable team, has a market value of $900 million.

11. Washington Wizards
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -19.1%
> 2001-2002 W-L record: 37-45 (5th in Atlantic Division)
> 2011-2012 W-L record: 20-46 (4th in Southeast Division)
> League championships last decade: None

Ten years ago, Wizards fans got to watch the legendary Michael Jordan finish off his career with the team. But MJ’s magic has been missing from the team in recent years. Fans were enraged when the team’s star player, Gilbert Arenas, brought a gun into the locker room late in 2009. He was suspended for the season. The team’s ownership changed in 2010 and the drafting of college star John Wall hasn’t led to much of a turnaround. In the last two seasons the team has won just 43 games and has lost 105 and hasn’t had a winning season since 2007-2008. Given that the team has started the current season 0-10 it may be a while before fans’ enthusiasm is rejuvenated.

10. Columbus Blue Jackets
> 10-yr. attendance decline: -19.2%
> 2001-2002 W-L record: 22-47-8-5 (5th in Central Division)
> 2011-2012 W-L record: 29-46-7 (5th in Central Division)
> League championships last decade: none

To say the Columbus Blue Jackets have been a less-than-successful team over the years is perhaps an understatement. Since joining the league in 2000, the team has never finished better than third place in its five-team division, making the playoffs just once. Last season, the team finished dead-last in the NHL, with just 29 wins in 82 games. The Blue Jackets did not even get the standard consolation prize for league doormat, as the Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery and the rights to the first pick in the draft. To make matters worse, arguably the Blue Jackets’ only fan-drawing star, Rick Nash, was traded to the New York Rangers in the offseason.