Attendance Project: WFL

Here are attendance figures for the 1974 season of the World Football League, an ambitious pro circuit that collapsed in a sea of red ink midway through its second season.

During the season, New York moved to Charlotte and became the Hornets, and Houston moved to Shreveport and became the Steamer, Jacksonville and Detroit both folded, and Chicago forfeited its last game. This list reflects the reported attendance figures for all 113 WFL games from 1974. 1975 will take a bit more work.

Also, all of these numbers (except possibly Birmingham and Memphis) should be taken with a big grain of salt, as many WFL teams were notorious for either papering the house or making up their attendance numbers. (NOTE: These numbers were compiled from newspaper reports and from summaries on I believe this is the first semi-definitive list that contains all the extant data.)

Team G Total Average
Birmingham Americans 10 392,690 39,269
Jacksonville Sharks 7 232,962 33,280
Chicago Fire 10 292,200 29,220
Southern California Sun 10 263,394 26,339
Charlotte Hornets 4 88,515 22,129
Memphis Southmen 10 215,248 21,525
Philadelphia Bell 10 194,879 19,488
Shreveport Steamer 6 113,834 18,972
Houston Texans 5 92,909 18,582
Florida Blazers 9 138,720 15,413
Portland Storm 9 138,331 15,370
Hawaiians 10 130,309 13,031
New York Stars 7 76,037 10,862
Detroit Wheels 6 61,421 10,237
WFL TOTAL 113 2,431,449 21,517

Here’s a video of the final drive from a Chicago/Jacksonville game from July 17, 1974.

I was too young for the WFL (I’m a child of the USFL), but it was sure an interesting part of US sports history.