It’s August, and that means the NFL regular season is just around the corner. Take a look at these five insights CivicScience uncovered about the NFL and its fans before the season begins:
1. Interest in the NFL is at a three-year high point.
So far in 2022, 56% of Americans ages 13 and up have said they’re following the NFL “very closely” or “somewhat closely.” That matches the 2019 high in CivicScience tracking data going back to 2015.
2. It was close, but NFL fans are picking the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl before the first game of the regular season kicks off.
CivicScience asked Americans to choose which team was most likely to win the Super Bowl next February among the five teams that currently have the best betting odds to win it all. Among those who registered an opinion, the Kansas City Chiefs came out on top with 26% of the overall vote, followed closely by the Buffalo Bills with 24%. But one’s geographical location seems to have a lot to do with which team they think will win the Super Bowl.
3. Inflation could have an impact on NFL game attendance.
In a July survey by CivicScience, half of NFL fans who regularly attend live sporting events said they plan to go to fewer games this year due to the rising cost of living.
4. The NFL’s new mobile streaming service could be a hit among young super-fans.
About 18% of the U.S. general population is at least “somewhat likely” to sign up for NFL+, a streaming service for tablets and mobile devices (8% are“very likely” to subscribe). But likelihood to subscribe skyrockets among NFL super-fans under the age of 35. Almost half of this cohort is at least somewhat interested in the new mobile-only streaming service, with 36% “very likely” to subscribe. Even among young people who only follow the league “somewhat closely,” the numbers look good for the NFL.
5. The Gen Pop wants Guardian Caps to be mandatory for the regular season, but NFL fans are less enthusiastic.
Excluding those who weren’t familiar with the issue, three-quarters of Americans at large say they’d support making Guardian Caps – the large, padded helmets players have been using in training camps this year to reduce head injuries – mandatory for future regular-season NFL games. However, the more interested someone is in the NFL, the less likely they are to support this hypothetical change.
Editor’s Note: For new insights about fantasy football and sports betting, keep an eye out for our upcoming report next week.