The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams engaged in a thoroughly fantastic game of football Thursday night. But the stands at Levi’s Stadium were far from packed with fans. In fact, based on pictures of the stadium throughout the game, it looked like there were more empty seats than seats with people in them (look here).
However, on Friday morning, the franchise is singing a different tune. Pro Football Talk is reporting the 49ers as saying over 60,000 fans attended the game. There were 68,500 tickets available for Thursday night’s contest in Santa Clara, and per the report, the team distributed 97 percent of them.
Mike Florio elaborates on why evidence and facts might not appear to align.
“So why the images of a largely empty venue? The game started during rush hour in the Bay Area, and the team typically has a late-arriving crowd, along with six different club areas with open-air concourses from which fans can eat, drink, and watch the game.”
All that being taken into account, it’s still hard to believe 60,000-plus fans actually attended Thursday night’s game. This scribe watched throughout the fourth quarter until the end, and from start to finish there were huge pockets of empty seats. There were more people crowded into the end zones, while the sideline seats were sparsely populated.
The 49ers have some serious logistical issues concerning traffic going on near their stadium. They have also had trouble keeping the stands filled the past few years. Throw in the fact that this is a team that is clearly rebuilding, and it isn’t surprising that fans just aren’t ready to commit.
So on a Thursday night it’s not surprising that they’d have trouble packing the place on a Thursday night, in a game that did start while many were getting off work. Whether more people came to fill over 60,000 seats later on is something up for debate.