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Chiefs ticket availability surprises some fans

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs rushes the ball against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images )

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some may be surprised to learn that tickets are still available for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans.

To have tickets available, and in some cases selling at discount, less than a day before a playoff game with good weather predicted, was unheard of in 1994, the last time the Chiefs won a postseason game at Arrowhead Stadium.

It may be a sign that the NFL is not as popular.

This week, USA Today reports that league television ratings dropped ten percent during the regular season after an eight percent drop last season.

Some have speculated that National Anthem protests may partially be to blame.

But the NFL commissioner says total attendance at games dropped only by one percent.

Ticket sellers say demand varies by market, and here in kansas city, the team’s success has resulted in more sales than last season.

“One of the differences these days is there’s not as many season ticket holders,” said Jason Durbin, of Tickets For Less. “When you have a wild card round like this, the game comes so quick. The season just ended 4 days ago. The game was just decided, when it was going to be played, who the team would be. So it’s a really quick turnaround. It’s a really quick turn for everyone to plan their weekend out.”

Other factors may also be contributing to the drop in NFL attendance.

The Chargers moved from a city with a large stadium to a much smaller venue. That can skew the comparison.

A spokesman for the Chiefs said he could not tell me whether regular season attendance has been better or worse than last season.

It also may be difficult to compare local TV ratings because the Chiefs played in more so-called “prime time” games this season where the audience sometimes isn’t as large as traditional Sunday afternoon viewers.