Statistics Shows There Is No Seahawks Bandwagon

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There are a lot of Seahawks haters out there. Apparently, a popular insult hurled at the team is that it is a "Johnny-come-lately" franchise supported by a bunch of bandwagon fans. The problem for the haters, however, is that statistics show it's not true.

To be sure, every team has some bandwagon fans. A statistical analysis of Major League Baseball teams showed a small correlation between success on the field and attendance. Even the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that is considered to have the most loyal baseball fans in the country, have a few bandwagoners, too: For every extra win, there are about 291 additional fans in attendance1.

I conducted a similar analysis using data available for the Seattle Seahawks. Each dot represents a single season. The X-axis shows the number of wins in the regular season, and the Y-axis depicts attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity for that season2.

As shown, there was a small correlation of 0.41. This is not a strong correlation3. When this number is used to calculate determination, the result shows that, at most, only 17% of the variation in attendance can be explained by the team's success. The other 83% of the variation in attendance is not explainable by the team's success.

Bottom line: Statistics does not support the claim that Seahawks fans are a bunch of bandwagoners.

(1) The correlation, however, is not strong. The image in the analysis is difficult to read, but it appears to show an R-squared value of 0.23 (which means, at most, 23% of the variation in attendance is attributable to success on the field.)

(2) The Seahawks played in three different stadiums. Attendance data was obtained from Pro Football Reference and was available from 1992 to 2015.

(3) What is considered a "strong" correlation varies by field. Geneticists can get excited by correlations that explain less than 1% of the variation in a particular outcome.