Originally Posted by OldSchool
Actually, it's Mexico's NFL games that are most popular (though still less than soccer):
This is purely stadium size based. The washington Redskins routinely draw 90K + they just refuse to build a stadium that is any larger as they like to charge higher prices. The NFL has a general limit of 70K for their stadiums because they want a more upscale experience and charge more per seat. There are several teams that would easily sell out 150K+ stadiums if you built them. Also, for the last superbowl (XL) the FACE ticket price was $500. That's not from a broker, or from a scalper, that's purely what the league was selling them for. I bet you don't draw 5,000 in Mexico if you charge that much.
After a quick check with some of my friends over at another forum, the waiting list for season tickets for the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are all over 35 years. Some are 50+. It is not uncommon for people to leave their children their seats in their will.
Also Estadio Azteca could be the worst stadium to watch a game in all of north america. It's down right horrendous.
They reconfigured E. Azteca for the game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals (Week 3?) that was the first regular season game held outside the USA. It drew something like 107 or so because they cut off the botom ~5 rows to improve sightlines for fans. Also there is a significant debate that happened in the NFL front office when it came to how many tickets were actually 'sold' and how many were promotional.
The largest stadium in the United States for football is 'The Big House' in Ann Arbor (cough whore cough) and it seats somewhere in the neighborhood of 111K and they are looking at expansion plans right now. Hold a superbowl in there and you'd easily break the 113K+ record. I think the only thing you could maybe compare to the Super Bowl over in europe would either be a Euro Cup, World Cup, or possibly a champions league final. Those are the only events that come to approaching the pagentry, attention and media dollars that are involved in the superbowl.