Home field advantage

The story posted a day or 2 ago by Bill referring to home field advantage spurred this on.

Most realize there’s no real home field advantage for bad teams regardless of crowd noise - that’s pretty obvious. Of course the size of any home teams fan showing up is indicative of overall support of that said franchise - and certainly indicative of local support of that team. The teams that seem to suffer most from lack of home town support are those that have moved from city to city.

While it’s true every NFL stadium has a certain % of opposing fans, that disparity is dramatically larger for teams like the Chargers, Rams, Raiders, Cardinals and Titans where opposing fans presence are at a much higher % (especially true for those 1st 3 teams listed). Football games have always been a tribal experience and that tribal support is a source of pride for the fans (and to a certain extent for some players). So when that lack of support is as evident as it is for the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders it is a source of embarrassment for each of those franchises.

Home field advantage clearly matters when good teams play each other. Since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002, the home team is 27-13 in conf championships. The past 10 seasons, the home team is 14-6. Home field advantage still exists and matters when it counts the most.

And what about the quality of the building teams play in? That certainly has been discussed here as some fans want to believe building a new stadium gives a franchise an advantage vs playing in an older, outdated stadium. Some fans proclaimed there would be an immediate advantage to building Allegiant because the new digs would likely attract free agents - or the increased revenue from ticket sales would mean the team could afford better coaches or possibly help pay high end players’ signing bonuses.

Recently some misinformed soul on this site commented that while success is not usually seen immediately, a move to a new high end stadium will benefit a team in the long run. Simply not true.

Over the last 10 yrs, 6 NFL teams have moved into very modern and expensive stadiums.

Raiders: 4th season in Allegiant - record = 28-31 - 1 playoff appearance. Previous 4 seasons while playing in rundown Oakland Coliseum - record = 29-35 - 1 playoff appearance. Identical - no improvement yet with that increased revenue.

Rams: 4th season in SoFi - record post move = 30-29 - 1 division title, 2 playoffs, 1 SB win. Previous 4 yr record = 37-27 - 2 division titles, 2 playoffs, 1 SB loss. Rams 4 yr overall record actually better playing in old LA coliseum.

Chargers: 4th season in SoFi - record post move = 30-27 vs going 29-35 the previous 4 yrs. Nearly identical playing at a soccer field in Carson, CA vs playing in most expensive NFL stadium.

Falcons: 7th season in Merceds Benz - record = 46-61 w/ 1 playoff appearance vs 65-47 in previous 7 yrs w/ 3 division titles, 4 playoffs, 1 SB loss. Stark difference of actually turning much worse after move into shiny new stadium.

Vikings - 8th season in US Bank - record = 72-50 - 2 division titles, 3 playoffs, 1 conf championship loss. 8 yrs prior - record = 64-63 - 3 division titles, 4 playoffs, 1 conf championship loss. Slight improvement in winning %, slight decrease in division titles and playoff appearances post move.

49ers: 10th season in Levi’s - record = 72-82 - 3 division titles, 3 playoffs, 2 conf championships, 1 SB loss. 10 yrs prior - record = 75-84 - 2 division titles, 3 playoff appearances, 2 conf championships, 1 SB loss. No difference.

And for those that believe in possible short term new stadium effect - 49ers 5 yrs after moving into Levi’s - record = 25-55. 5 yrs prior while playing in horrible Candlestick - record = 50-29 - 2 division titles, 3 playoff appearances, 3 conf championships, 1 SB loss.

Same holds true if you go back looking at the last 15 yrs where the Giants, Jets, Cowboys & Colts also upgraded from old stadium to new. Those franchises pretty much stayed the same (or got slightly worse) in both the short term (1st 5 yrs post move) and for the duration they’ve been in their new digs.

Clearly home field advantage exists - but has never mattered much for bad teams. And building expensive new stadiums have had no effect in increasing on-field success of any NFL franchise that has "accomplished" that feat over the past 15 yrs or so.