Despite widely circulated images of empty NFL stadiums on game day, the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell, insists stadiums are full -- you just can't see the fans.
"We're very pleased where our attendance [numbers] are," Goodell said Monday morning during an appearance on CNBC. "We always want to see those numbers go up, but we're at 98 percent of capacity."
Here's a transcript:
KERNEN: “There — there are parts of society that, that, I don’t know, they’re mad about the kneeling, so you are going to see pictures on certain news sites of stadiums that appear to be empty, and I saw a long list of them. Again, they’re not empty, but there’s a lot of open seats. What do you — how do you explain what’s happening in stadiums, is attendance down in stadiums and what’s it to do to —“
GOODELL: “Our attendance is off 1 percent. Remember, we have two teams that are going through major transitions in Los Angeles, playing in two different stadiums; we have a team that’s moving to Las Vegas. We’re very pleased where our attendance are. We always want to see those numbers go up, but we’re about 98 percent of capacity.”
KANEL: “So the seats — what are those pictures —“ [crosstalk]
GOODELL: “Well you always get that when you get that late in the season, particularly if the team isn’t in the running, and you get that. The other thing we see an awful lot of that our stadiums are so good now that fans are staying back inside and enjoying the premium aspect of it, and you see a lot of empty seats there. And that’s another challenge for us. But overall we have to work harder to get people into our stadiums.”