Chicago Bears fans cheer outside Soldier Field before the Bears take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on January 23, 2011 in Chicago.
The NFL is experiencing unprecedented popularity. Television audiences grow bigger every year, but attendance has been steadily dropping after peaking in 2007.
The Bears, however, have stayed level.
In 2007, the Bears averaged 62,158 a game. It was the year after the Bears went to the Super Bowl, and fans demand was understandably high. In 2011, Chicago averaged 62,145. A loss of 13 fans won't likely keep the McCaskeys up at night.
There are a few reasons the Bears may have bucked this trend. First, the small stadium means a short supply of tickets.
Tickets to Bears games are never easy to get because Soldier Field is the smallest stadium in the NFL. Though the small stadium means the Bears are always near the bottom of the league's attendance list, it also means demand for tickets is stable.
Secondly, the Bears serve as a unifying force for Chicago sports fans. After a summer of divisiveness (and often, disillusionment) over baseball, the Bears join Chicago together. Fans want to be together at Soldier Field. They'll sit on waiting lists and pay seat licenses to cheer on the team.