The Indianapolis Colts have been sponsoring the Indiana high school football playoffs for the past 10 years and the finals are played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Their 6 state final games typically average about 7000 attendees per game. Attendance at our 8 finals in Florida typically average less than 4000 per game.
As you'll see from their website, the Colts are very involved with youth and high school football in the community. I've looked on the websites for the Dolphins, Jaguars and Bucs and don't see anything like this. It's disappointing we have 3 pro teams in the hs football hotbed of Florida yet the game doesn't seem to get as much support as a state with 1 pro team and a lot less hs players/teams.
Is there a really that much of a difference once you are in the 1000s range? I mean these teams are playing completely different in completely states with probably very little overlap. Promoters of high school football here in Florida have tried some of the marquee match-ups with 2-3 games on a Saturday. Stadiums don't get filled.
The biggest shame is that with 3 professional football teams in the state (4 if you want to count the Orlando Apollos), that more isn't done in the community to promote football as a whole. The NFL should be requiring empty stadiums to be used early in the season for big Saturday promotion of games. Make the games free.
Imagine 2 games on a Friday Night and 3 games on a Saturday at TIAA Field (Jax), Raymond James (Tampa), and Hard Rock Hotel (Miami) with 10 of the biggest teams in the areas or criss cross areas. Imagine a Trinity Christian facing off against Mandarin in the night time game, or Miami Northwestern vs Miami Central, or Plant vs Lakeland. Needless to say, professional sports sometimes stink at being ambassadors of the game on a community level.