Bud Adams And The Houston Oilers
The fans of Houston never stopped supporting the Oilers. Bud Adams did not leave Houston due to lack of support.
The fans of the city of Houston never stopped supporting the Houston Oilers. This is a common misinterpretation of the facts. Oiler fans have been bashed ever since Bud Adams threatened to move the team to Jacksonville. The fans supported the Oilers until the day Bud said the team was going to Tennessee. They even supported them afterwards, all the way until they left town.
One might look at the attendance figures for the Oilers last years in Houston. There was a drop from the previous years. This fact is confusing. Yes the fans stopped attending the games, but this was only after the announced move to Nashville, Tennessee. Before this, the Oilers were coming close to selling out every single game- even when they went 2-14.
Even in these off years of attendance, when the Oilers played against the Steelers, 49er's and Dolphins, the Astrodome was usually sold out. There were around 50,000 people still attending these games during the last years. Players on the Pittsburgh team, after an Oiler victory in their last year, stated that the noise they heard in the Astrodome was the loudest they had heard all year. Strange from a town who does not support their football team.
Another statistic one can use to gage the fan support is the Nielson ratings. The NFL football ratings in Houston stayed about even the last year they were in town, dropping slightly. If the interest had really left the fans, the Nielson ratings would have plummeted as people would have watched something else or done other activities on a Sunday afternoon.
The claim that the Oilers left Houston due to lack of support is just wrong. Houston has regained an NFL team because the NFL has acknowledged that Houston fans supported and will continue to support a professional football team.