Back in 1983, the USFL tried to come out and compete with the NFL and there were pretty successful. Remember they were trying to compete with the NFL, but they also had some solid players like Jim Kelly, Herschel Walker, Reggie White, and Steve Young.
In their first season they averaged 24,927 per game. Some places like Denver and Tampa had a good attendance, but teams like Boston had a pretty poor attendance average.
The AAF has had similar luck, and according to Pat Smith, the AAF is registering roughly 19k per game which is not bad considering the league is only 8 teams. The USFL consisted of 12 teams starting up but they only averaged 24,927 fans in attendance in their first year. The AAF is pretty close to what the USFL did back in 1983.
The crazy thing is the big name players so far in the AAF are Christian Hackenberg (who maybe the worst quarterback in the AAF) and Trent Richardson who is actually looking pretty good. This league is moving in the right direction and I feel they have a good opportunity to grow.
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