As the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens prepare to square off on this rare Saturday midafternoon game, a few variables could keep attendance lower than normal. Obviously, the Browns are almost officially eliminated from playoff contention and had a poor showing last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It is tough to care about a team when the last four games are close to meaningless outside of preparing for next season. Add on top of that the game wasn’t officially scheduled to be played today until a couple of weeks ago so planning to travel to the game was much later than normal.
Today also provides a couple of other variables, ones that have been up and down over the last few years: The weather and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Today’s high is 35 degrees in Cleveland with the windchill factor taking 10 degrees off of that. Snow showers hit the area last night with a dusting of snow expected early this afternoon as well. It is one thing for Browns fans to show up to cold and snowy games that might matter or when there were no expectations but neither is true today.
The Cavs are also playing a home game tonight almost immediately following the expected completion of the game between Cleveland and Baltimore (8 PM). The Cavaliers are third in the Eastern Conference with a 19-11 record and welcome in the Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks tonight.
Over the years, either the weather hasn’t been bad, the Browns have been competitive/interesting or Cleveland’s basketball team was on a downswing. In those years, it was an easy decision for fans.
Today, Cleveland fans might choose to attend an indoor event with a team playing well and in position to compete for the playoffs and a championship over attending an outdoor event to watch a team that has been struggling and is highly unlikely to taste the postseason this year. Then again, Browns fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in all of sports so maybe attendance today will be better than expected.
Which would you choose today if you had to pick one?