The New York Jets rank second in attendance after MetLife Stadium return to normalcy
As NFL stadiums re-open their gates to paying customers, New York Jets fans proved that they might’ve missed their team a little more than others.
Official attendance numbers posted on ESPN.com indicate that 75,626 fans witnessed the Jets’ 2021 home opener against the New England Patriots on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
That’s good enough to place the Jets in second place in the average attendance rankings and also second-best in Week 2’s outputs, behind only the 77,240 that made it out to Lambeau Field on Monday for the Green Bay Packers’ nationally televised home opener against the Detroit Lions.
The Jets managed to outpace their blue East Rutherford roommates in the process. Week 1’s interconference tilt between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos drew 74,119, which ranks third behind the Jets and Packers.
The AFC East divisional meet-up was the first Jets regular-season game to invite spectators since December 2019; MetLife Stadium was one of 12 stadiums that did welcome fans at any point of last season during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alas, Sunday presented a far-too-familiar result for the newly occupied seats. Four interceptions from rookie quarterback Zach Wilson doomed the Jets to a 25-6 defeat and their 11th consecutive loss at the hands of Bill Belichick’s squad.
Despite playing in the expansive MetLife Stadium (whose 82,500 standard capacity is highest amongst the league’s 30 venues) and a lack of on-field success, the Jets haven’t had issues in drawing fans out to East Rutherford. They ranked second in average attendance in both 2018 and 2019 at 78,523 fans per game, behind only Dallas in each season.
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Four teams (Dallas, Denver, Minnesota, and San Francisco) have yet to stage their 2021 home openers but will do so this weekend. The Jets (0-2) will serve as the opponent in one of those contests as they’ll head out west to battle the Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags