During football season and while viewing college and NFL games, I’m sometimes intrigued by the size of stadiums at the collegiate level vis-à-vis the NFL. For those who are unaware, most large college football programs have stadiums that seat considerably more than the professionals’ venues. Because of this fact, I’m sometimes prompted to do online research to compare the 10 largest college stadiums against the National Football League.
I typically use Wikipedia to get my information but during my most recent search, I decided to also use ESPN for additional research. Using Lambeau Field as my first sample and before I ever got to the college and pro comparison, I noticed an inconsistency between Wikipedia and the attendance listed under the Game Summary in the stadium named after Curly Lambeau and built in 1957. Because of the inconsistency, I did additional digging on ESPN and found another site that lists attendance. However, the attendance at the Game Summary site was sometimes inconsistent with the NFL Team Stadium number.
If two ESPN sites had different numbers for the seating capacity at Lambeau, what about other NFL stadiums? Because Fed Ex field has recently gone through some renovations and seating changes, I choose to compare the seating capacity where the D.C. team plays. Again inconsistency. The Game Summary capacity was listed as 91,704 and the NFL Team Stadium site listed the capacity at 85,000.
To increase my sample size, Heinz Field came next. Comparing the Game Summary capacity and the NFL Team Stadium number, the capacities came in at 65,000 and 65,500 respectively. Only a 500 seat difference but still inconsistent with these two ESPN sites. Similar comparison with Reliant Stadium in Houston, capacities at both sites came in at 71,054 and 71,500 respectively.
Having just listed 4 inconsistencies between two separate ESPN sites, that doesn’t mean there are inconsistencies for all stadiums. For example, I compared the attendance capacity for Gillette Stadium and MetLife Stadium on these two ESPN websites. These capacities are consistent. After 6 samples, we have 4 inconsistencies and 2 situations where the stadium capacities are consistent. That’s a sample size that shows there’s more work that needs to be done by ESPN to include the correct NFL Team Stadium capacities.
If I had time, I could review all 32 teams to see how many of these sites need correcting. Even if all other of the 26 teams are correct, the fact remains that 4 of these are inconsistent. My guess is that several other sites show disparity between the Game Summary Attendance site and NFL Team Stadium site.
Is this a big deal? No, most would not think so. However, having seen this, is it natural to question some the information and facts of the other ESPN websites?
Capacity according to Wikipedia states 81,435. According to ESPN, their capacity under the Game Summary states LF has a capacity of 72,928. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874733. Why the disparity?
In addition, if you go to http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/stadium/_/name/gb, Lambeau Field’s capacity is listed as 80,750. So ESPN, should I follow the NFL Team Stadium site for the official capacity for Lambeau Field or trust the Game Summary attendance?
Capacity according to Wikipedia states 82,000. On the ESPN Game Summary page, the capacity for Fed Ex Field is listed as 91,704. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874701
On the NFL Team Stadium site (ESPN), the capacity at Fed Ex Field is listed as 85,000. http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/stadium/_/name/wsh
Capacity according to Wikipedia states 68,400. On the ESPN Game Summary page, the capacity for Heinz Field is listed as 65,000. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874602
On the NFL Team Stadium site (ESPN), the capacity at Heinz Field is listed as 65,500.
Capacity according to Wikipedia states 71,795. On the ESPN Game Summary page, the capacity for Reliant Stadium is listed as 71, 054. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874734
On the NFL Team Stadium site (ESPN), the capacity at Reliant Stadium is listed as 71,500.
Capacity is 68,756 for the ESPN Game Summary page. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874736
On the NFL Team Stadium site (ESPN), the capacity at Reliant Stadium is listed as 68,756 http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/stadium/_/name/ne
Capacity is 82,500 for the ESPN Game Summary page. http://www.espn.com/nfl/game?gameId=400874705
On the NFL Team Stadium site (ESPN), the capacity at Reliant Stadium is listed as 82,500 http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/stadium/_/name/nyg
One thing to mention, I’m not claiming Wikipedia is 100% accurate. However, I used that as a baseline before reviewing the attendance figures at the two ESPN sites. Even if Wikipedia is incorrect, there are still several examples on ESPN where their numbers don’t align between those two sites.
One more thing to mention. Puzzled about the AT&T stadium where their capacity is listed as 80,000 when the attendance often exceeds 90,000 (exceeds capacity by 16.4%). In fact, their last attendance numbers against the Eagles shows the attendance of 93,103. I understand attendance may exceed capacity by a few thousand but when the attendance exceeds the capacity by over 10,000, I wonder what’s going on.