Attendance at National Football League games has decreased by 1 percent compared to 2016, an NFL spokesman told NBC News.
While President Donald Trump has blamed NFL players' protests for declining ratings and attendance, the NFL told NBC News Tuesday that attendance has declined little since 2016.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy also told NBC News that 98 percent of available tickets to all NFL games have been sold.
Trump's claims that ratings have declined are more accurate, according to NBC News — the average NFL game has showed a 7 percent decline in ratings. However, the NFL is not alone in ratings declines . NASCAR racing was down 10 percent as well, NBC News reported.
Empty seats were apparent at a Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game in Arlington Thursday, according to USA Today.
A number of reporters at the game tweeted photos:
NFL broadcaster Al Michaels said in mid-November that some decline in NFL ratings was to be expected.
"It's number one, and it's getting bashed because the ratings are down. Two or three years ago, the ratings were so spectacular that there had to be a little bit of diminishment at some point," Michaels said in a Philly.com interview.
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