If you are a football fan, you might have wondered which teams have the best NFL fan bases? There are 32 teams in the NFL and yet, some seem to shout louder than others. Teams like the Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles both have reputations for being rough, but does that make them the best? We here at Bet Station made a list of the best NFL fan bases.
How did we decide what makes one fan base better than another? Well, we looked at a combination of features you would want to see from a group of NFL fans. This includes home game attendance, road support, and even the sellout streaks. Besides the cold hard facts and numbers, we looked for one feature above all else; passion.
NFL fans are some of the most passionate sports fans in the world. From tailgate parties to some of the most imaginative get-ups, each franchise has something to be proud of. However, we are looking for the best NFL fan base, and only the greatest will do. Speaking of the greats, why not check out our top ten list of the best quarterbacks, or if you are looking for controversy, the worst quarterbacks of all time.
15. New York Giants
The New York Giants are the third most successful NFL team of all time. They won the Super Bowl four times post the AFL-NFL merger and four times before the format existed. The Giants have had 32 playoff appearances since they formed in 1925 and 16 division championships.
Although the team is called the New York Giants, the home stadium is actually located inside New Jersey. They currently share the MetLife Stadium with the New York Jets, another famous team with a passionate following. Looking at the 2021 NFL attendance stats, the Giants place third in average overall attendance. They totaled 1.2 million fans across the season. The Giants also averaged 73,882 home fans per game and 68,537 away supporters.
Without a doubt, the strongest suit for the Giants is the home attendance, as they rank fourth overall. The away support is good but does not crack the top ten in the league, leaving them 12th. Some may argue the giant MetLife Stadium allows for more butts in the seats, however, the Giants have always had a large following historically. In 1969, while they played at the Yale Bowl, they drew in a crowd of 70,874 for their first meeting with the New York Jets. So, drawing in a sizeable crowd has never been a problem for the Big Blue.
- Twitter Followers: 1.9M
- Reddit Members: 116K
- Super Bowl Wins: 4
- Stadium Capacity: 82,500
- Average Home Attendance: 73,882
14. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have been a part of the NFL since 1996. having only joined 26 years ago, they have enjoyed a lot of success. This includes two Super Bowls and 13 playoff appearances. The Ravens currently play at the M&T Bank Stadium, in the heart of Baltimore. The stadium is next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, one of the best major league baseball stadiums.
M&T Bank Stadium has a capacity of 70,745, which was practically sold out all season. Baltimore averaged 70,537 across nine home games in the NFL, which placed the team ninth on the overall list. However, the away support dwindled down to 63,289 fans per game on average; the 31st in the NFL. This might sound like a poor showing, but the Ravens still come out in 15th for the total number of fans across home and away games.
It’s never clear why a team would have a significantly larger home following than away. If we look back to the 2018 season, Baltimore had a similar number of home fans per game and a lower number on the road. We can find a similar pattern in the 2019 season, proving that Baltimore fans don’t take as much passion with their support on the road. When your team visits the Ravens, you are in for a good game. However, it would be even better if the passion followed them on the road a little more.
- Twitter Followers: 1.7M
- Reddit Members: 133K
- Super Bowl Wins: 2
- Stadium Capacity: 70,745
- Average Home Attendance: 70,431
13. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos first joined the AFL in 1960 where they stayed until the 1970 merger. They had a lot of success over the past 25 years, winning successive Super Bowls in the late 90s and one in 2015. Besides three Super Bowl victories, they have made 22 playoff appearances and won the AFC West division 15 times.
In the 2021 season, the Broncos managed to gather 1.2 million fans across their home and road games. That placed them second on the list out of 32 teams. Looking at the average home attendance for the Broncos, they secured third place with 76,236 fans. They have an equally impressive road attendance, averaging 69,719 fans for each game. There aren't many teams with as impressive a home and road attendance as the Broncos.
If you are fortunate enough to get tickets for NFL games on the road, then you want to have a good time. Any of the teams on our list of the best NFL fan bases are sure to provide a game you won't forget, and that is certainly the case for the Broncos. Plus, the Broncos hold the longest sellout streak in NFL history with 423 games.
- Twitter Followers: 2.7M
- Reddit Members: 118K
- Super Bowl Wins: 3
- Stadium Capacity: 76,125
- Average Home Attendance: 76,236
12. Chicago Bears
They founded the Chicago Bears in 1919 under a different name than what you see today. It wasn’t until 1922 that the team adopted the Bears as their team name, something that has stuck for 100 years. The team is one of the oldest in the league, and they had a tremendous amount of success pre-1970. Before the NFL and AFL merged, they won eight NFL championships. Since the Super Bowl became the big event to win, the Bears have only won it once in 1985.
The Bears play at Soldier Field, a former U.S. National Historic Landmark. It lost its status as a landmark thanks to recent renovations. The National Park service believed the new look sabotaged the stadium’s original and iconic aesthetic. David Barna, a spokesperson, said:
For national landmarks, we look more for restoration. This one crossed the line in terms of too much renovation.- David Barna
The Stadium has a capacity of 61,500, around 5,000 fewer seats than before the renovation. This means Chicago ranks 27th for average home attendance in the NFL, with 60,834. The average road attendance is better, with 65,907 fans per game. It is not usual for more fans to follow the team on the road than at home, which says a lot about the team. However, if you are looking for passionate fans, then Da Bears are up there with the best NFL fan bases.
- Twitter Followers: 1.9M
- Reddit Members: 153M
- Super Bowl Wins: 1
- Stadium Capacity: 61,500
- Average Home Attendance: 60,834
11. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL in the 1960 expansion and it didn’t take them long to reach the top. They have won the Super Bowl five times, become division champions 24 times, and made 34 playoff appearances. In 2002, they embarked on a 190-game sellout streak, including post-season games, both home and away.
The Cowboys moved to AT&T Stadium in 2009, which has a maximum capacity of 105,000. AT&T Stadium’s record attendance for a football game was against the New York Giants at 105,121. They don’t always open the stadium to its full amount, and yet, the average in 2021 was 93,421 fans per game. They had over 60,000 more fans at home games last season than second-place Denver, and Dallas had fewer home games. You might assume that the support would dwindle on the road, and you would be correct. However. With an average of 68,833 away fans per game, they are ninth overall.
Dallas had 1.3 million fans at NFL games in 2021. That is almost 100k more than second-place Denver and over 150,000 more than the New York Giants. Last season certainly saw a resurgence in fans at football games given the coronavirus pandemic, which interrupted the 2020 season. This is clear from the total attendance of every NFL team; nobody had less than a million fans across the season. If you look at any of the previous seasons, they all have multiple teams below this threshold. You might also notice that Dallas' attendance is consistently around 1.3 million, earning them a place on the list of the best NFL fan bases.
- Twitter Followers: 4.2M
- Reddit Members: 208K
- Super Bowl Wins: 5
- Stadium Capacity: 105,000
- Average Home Attendance: 93,421
10. New England Patriots
A cynical sports fan always says “it’s easy to stay passionate or loyal when your team is winning”. That sentiment could not be truer for the New England Patriots who, with help from Tom Brady, have won the Super Bowl six times since 2000. However, given that Brady left in 2019 and their last Super Bowl success was in 2018, now we are seeing what the fans are truly made of.
The Patriots play at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. In the 2021 season, New England ranked 20th in the NFL for home attendance, with an average of 65,878 people per game. This may not sound too special until you see the stadium capacity has been 65,878 since 2015. Some of you might wonder about the road support of the Patriots, which is arguably even more impressive than the home sellouts. They average 69,675 fans on the road per game, which is the sixth-most in the league.
There is an undeniable reputation when speaking about Patriots fans, and it is a reputation they deserve. However, given the absence and brief retirement of their former star man, you would have expected to see fewer fans at the games. Will the decrease in attendance come now that the trophies have stopped; only time will tell.
- Twitter Followers: 4.6M
- Reddit Members: 620K
- Super Bowl Wins: 6
- Stadium Capacity: 65,878
- Average Home Attendance: 65,878
9. Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders fans have a fierce reputation in the NFL. The fans are famous for their passion and violence, which has occurred during games and even tailgate parties. The Raiders, formerly from Oakland, have a short but varied past. They founded the team in 1960 as the Oakland Raiders before moving to Las Vegas in 1982. They stayed in Nevada briefly before the move back to Oakland in 1995, and they have recently come full circle by returning to Las Vegas in 2019.
Usually, the Raiders deserve a spot near the top of any list for the best NFL fan bases. However, the recent move to Vegas seems to have had a negative effect on the home attendance. The Raiders now play their football at the Allegiant Stadium, which has a capacity of 65,000. The average home attendance for the Raiders in 2021 was only 61,185 per game, showing that not all fans have embraced the move just yet.
The home attendance averages for the Raiders place them 26th for the season, but the road attendance is something to be proud of. They average 73,186 fans per game on the road, placing them second on last year’s NFL attendance leaderboard. While the move back to Las Vegas has not yet yielded the same support the Raiders received in Oakland, one thing is for certain: there is incredible road support for the team.
- Twitter Followers: 1.8M
- Reddit Members: 48.7K
- Super Bowl Wins: 3
- Stadium Capacity: 65,000
- Average Home Attendance: 61,185
8. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have one of the best NFL fan bases. They play in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and were a part of the 1960 NFL expansion. The Vikings' overall record is 516-442-11, the highest win percentage of NFL franchises that are yet to win a Super Bowl. They also hold the record for most playoff losses in history with 30, plus they are the only franchise with a winning record to not win a Super Bowl. The Vikings recently appointed Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as General Manager. He had this to say at the announcement:
There is so much to appreciate about this organization -- an existing nucleus of talent on the roster, top-notch facilities, passionate fans, and smart people throughout the building who are committed to winning. I look forward to partnering with our next head coach and our entire football operations staff to begin our work of bringing a Super Bowl to Vikings fans.- Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
You can see where we are going with this. Any team that has escaped glory for this long and has a large following deserves recognition. After all, you can safely say any Minnesota Vikings fan is passionate for all the right reasons. Looking at the attendance figures for the Vikings in 2021, they have a far stronger home following than on the road. The stadium has a capacity of 66,860, and they averaged 66,701 a game at home. On the road, the Vikings only managed 64,964 fans per game, which is the seventh-worst in the league.
- Twitter Followers: 1.4M
- Reddit Members: 150K
- Super Bowl Wins: 0
- Stadium Capacity: 66,860
- Average Home Attendance: 66,701
7. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks entered the NFL in 1976 and have quickly established themselves as one of the most passionate in the league. Being the only NFL team in the Pacific Northwest has its advantages, attracting fans from neighboring states to the games. Seahawks fans, or the 12th Man, have twice set a Guinness World Record for loudest crowd noise at a sporting event. Originally 136.6 decibels against the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and then 137.6 against the New Orleans Saints in December 2013.
Seahawks fans may have set a Guinness World Record in 2013, but how was the support in 2021? They averaged 68,408 fans per game at home during the season, the 13th best in the league. Once again, it may not sound impressive, that is until you see the stadium's maximum attendance is 68,740. The Seahawks certainly have fantastic home support, but the road fan numbers certainly dwindled last season. Averaging 65,973 people per game is not terrible, but it ranks them 21st in the league for the season.
The Seahawks are without a doubt a noisy group of fans, which certainly shows their passion. However, the road fan numbers are a little lower than you would expect from such a rowdy group. Either way, expect a very loud welcome whenever your team visits the Seattle Seahawks.
- Twitter Followers: 2.5M
- Reddit Members: 155K
- Super Bowl Wins: 1
- Stadium Capacity: 68,740
- Average Home Attendance: 68,408
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
They founded the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1933, making them the seventh-oldest franchise in football. They are one of the most successful teams in football history, tying with the Patriots at six Super Bowls each. The Steelers began their NFL career as the Pittsburgh Pirates, taking the name from the baseball team. In 1940, the team changed its name to distinguish itself from the baseball team, a name they still hold to this day.
Usually, Steelers fans are up there with the best NFL fan bases. However, in 2021, home fan attendance dropped to 28th in the league. They averaged 60,488 fans per game in a stadium that can hold 68,400. This means the stadium is around 12% empty all season. Luckily for the Steelers, the road fans picked up the slack, averaging 69,939 fans per game. The Steelers have an incredible reputation for selling out every home game since 1972, but unfortunately, sold tickets don’t always equate to butts in the seat.
The Pittsburgh Steelers fans are up there with the best in the NFL. However, a recent drop in attendance has seen them plummet from the top steps of the NFL attendance leaderboard. Whether this is because the Steelers are without a Super Bowl appearance since 2011, or a lower attendance from Covid, who knows. What’s undeniable is the passion Pittsburgh fans have for the NFL.
- Twitter Followers: 3.6M
- Reddit Members: 172K
- Super Bowl Wins: 6
- Stadium Capacity: 68,400
- Average Home Attendance: 60,488
5. Kansas City Chiefs
They founded the Kansas City Chiefs in 1960 under a different name, the Dallas Texans. They remained as the Texans for two seasons before moving to Kansas. The Chiefs won the 1969 Super Bowl, the last Super Bowl before the 1970 league merger. The Chiefs have enjoyed a lot of success in recent times, including the 2019 Super Bowl, the 2019 and 2020 Conference championships, plus eight AFC West titles in the last 12 years.
Looking at the 2021 attendance stats for the Kansas City Chiefs, they rank fourth for the average home attendance all season. They had around 73,227 fans at each home game, which is the fifth-most in the league. The road stats are slightly less impressive, averaging 66,737 fans per game. Overall, the Chiefs had 1,192,945 fans watch their games in 2021, the fifth most in the entire league.
While you could make an argument that recent success has helped fans return to the stadium, it has been a long wait. The Chiefs’ first Super Bowl appearance was the very first one between the AFL and NFL in 1966. They lost badly to the Green Bay Packers but did not have to wait long for redemption, winning the Super Bowl in 1969. It was then a 50-year wait until the Chiefs appeared next at a Super Bowl. There has certainly been continuous and passionate support during the long wait between Super Bowl appearances. So, it only seems fair to let the fans enjoy it while it lasts.
- Twitter Followers: 1.9M
- Reddit Members: 139K
- Super Bowl Wins: 2
- Stadium Capacity: 76,416
- Average Home Attendance: 73,227
4. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills joined the American Football League in 1960. They joined the NFL in the 1970 merger where they had no success until the 80s. The Bills made NFL history in the 90s, making it to four consecutive Super Bowls. Unfortunately, they lost all four games between 1990-1993 and are yet to make a return to the Super Bowl. The Bills and the Vikings are the only two NFL franchises with four Super Bowl appearances and no victories.
The Bills have played at the Highmark Stadium since 1973. The stadium has a capacity of 71,608 seats, making it the tenth biggest currently in the NFL. Looking at the 2021 home attendance for the Bills, they averaged 67,816 fans per game, putting them 14th in the league. They managed just as impressive numbers on the road, with 68,660 fans at each game, which was the 11th best in the league.
Any team that has continued and passionate support both home and away is good to see. However, the fact it’s from the Bills, who are yet to win at the top level of football only makes the achievement more impressive. Sure, other teams in the league may have higher numbers than the Bills, but they all almost certainly have had more success.
- Twitter Followers: 1.2M
- Reddit Members: 114K
- Super Bowl Wins: 0
- Stadium Capacity: 71,608
- Average Home Attendance: 67,816
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the best NFL fan bases. Founded in 1933, the Eagles have made 28 playoff appearances, won the NFC East 11 times, and won one Super Bowl. The fans are famous for their bitter rivalries with other NFL franchises, most notably, the rivalry with the New York Giants. The Giants-Eagles rivalry began in 1933, making it the second oldest rivalry in the NFL.
If you have ever spoken to a Philadelphian sports fan, then you would know they are incredibly passionate; sometimes too passionate. The NFL attendance stats for 2021 shows that passion transcribes to fans inside the stadium as the Eagles have an average home attendance of 69,796. Meaning, not only was every game a sellout but there was not an empty seat in the house; unlike other franchises mentioned above. Eagles’ fans also take their support on the road, averaging 68,805 fans per game.
The Philadelphia Eagles fans are up there with the most passionate fans in the league. With bitter rivalries with the Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Commanders, it’s hard to find a team they don’t have a history of fighting. Plus, given their 2021 attendance is the eighth-best overall in the league, it’s easy to put up a convincing argument for the Eagles.
- Twitter Followers: 3.5M
- Reddit Members: 224K
- Super Bowl Wins: 1
- Stadium Capacity: 69,796
- Average Home Attendance: 69,796
2. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. Founded in 1919, the Packers are the only community-owned, non-profit major league professional sports team in the USA. The Packers hold the record for most league championships if you combine the pre-Super Bowl victories with the current format. They won the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 67 and their most recent victory came in 2010. The Packers have the oldest rivalry in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, originating in 1921. They also have rivalries with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys.
Historically speaking, there was a consensus toward the Packers being one of the best NFL fan bases. However, according to the NFL attendance stats for 2021, Green Bay road support was lower than usual. Historically speaking, the Packers have always had better fan support at home than on the road but, this year the gap between the two was around 15,000 fans. The home support this season was the second-highest average in the league, with 77,991 fans at each game. The road support was only 62,589, which was the lowest average in the league.
Green Bay fans are some of the most passionate sports fans you will ever meet. Though, it doesn’t seem right to award the best NFL bases to a team with the lowest road support in the league last season. Usually, the cheeseheads bring enough passion to make every home game something special, but with road numbers so small, the Packers have lost the top spot.
- Twitter Followers: 2.4M
- Reddit Members: 236K
- Super Bowl Wins: 4
- Stadium Capacity: 81,441
- Average Home Attendance: 77,991
1. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns had the best NFL fan base this season. Founded in 1945, the Browns are one of four NFL teams to never make a Super Bowl appearance. The other three teams include the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. This does not mean the Browns have never tasted success, as they won the NFL four times before the Super Bowl began in 1966.
Looking at the NFL attendance stats, the Cleveland Browns averaged 67,431 fans at each home game. While this only places them 16th on the season’s list, it’s actually as good as they could hope for. Seeing as the stadium capacity is also 67,431, meaning they sold out and fully attended every home game in 2021. Their road support was even more impressive, averaging 69,140 fans per game; almost 2,000 more fans on the road than at home.
The Browns have a complex history, with the most controversial phase occurring in the mid-90s. Owner Art Modell announced plans to relocate the Browns to Baltimore in 1995. The plans angered fans and the city of Cleveland, eventually leading to a compromise. Modell was to build the Baltimore Ravens, leaving the history of the Browns in Cleveland. This meant the Browns were not active between 1996 and 1998, and since their return to the NFL, they are yet to play in an AFC Championship Game.
- Twitter Followers: 1.4M
- Reddit Members: 131K
- Super Bowl Wins: 0
- Stadium Capacity: 67,431
- Average Home Attendance: 67,431
Best NFL Fan Base: Factory of Sadness
The Browns have played at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Ohio since it first opened in 1999. The stadium was nicknamed the Factory of Sadness, due to the discontent at the performances and yet a love for football. Mike Polk, a comedian who expressed concern with the team’s lack of progress and ambition, coined the name. In his crazed and yet somehow relatable rant, Polk shouted:
You are a factory of sadness! I’ll see you Sunday.- Mike Polk
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Browns. In January 2021, Polk officially closed the Factory of Sadness after an uptick in Browns’ performances. The Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002, ending a prolonged and miserable time as a Cleveland football fan.
There are many reasons to support a football team yet, the underlying reason is to be entertained and to have a chance of some success. The Browns were always one of the best NFL fan bases and now they have something to cheer about. Sure, it's not quite a Super Bowl. But that is what makes the Browns such an impressive fan base. Come rain or shine, the fans will follow the Browns no matter what.
There are many franchises that deserve to be included when talking about the best NFL fan bases. Unfortunately, there are only ten spots, so some are bound to miss out. While we wish we could include every team in our top ten, some just scream louder than others. Below is a list of some teams that deserve recognition for their support, even though they missed out on the top 15 best NFL fan bases.
- New Orleans Saints
- Indianapolis Colts
- New York Jets
- Washington Commanders
- San Francisco 49ers