Sample size: 1. Televised on Root Sports.
Scene: Seattle Seawolves look like they sold out Starfire (except not quite, but note all the fans standing around the pitch). It's very American rugby (ballhandling is at a premium). The fans are into it, though.
Conclusion: IT'S TAKING OVER! BIGGER THAN SLICED BREAD AND DELI MEAT!
Too-Sober conclusion: I need more views.
Proper conclusion: knowing that this league is playing in 4K-6K venues, it still strikes me as a better draw than minor league football.
4-6k probably represents a very large percentage of the rugby fans in a given market, whereas it represents a very small percentage of gridiron fans, who have any number of other outlets (even high-level high school, depending on the area) for football.
I kind of get a kick out of the Glendale Raptors. Small Denver suburb, bills itself as Rugby Town USA, has what was (up to the middle of last year) the only "rugby-specific" stadium in America. It's interesting, with a few nooks and crannies that make sense, just no actual seats (everything is sitting on concrete there). The place was nice. Just, er, half-full and I was suffering from probably 500 unrelated deafening conversations around me during the match.
The next night... Utah Warriors playing in the stadium built for Real Salt Lake's development team Real Monarchs (within the training and academy facility, one hell of a campus), on a bluff overlooking the Wasatch Front (really a knockout view), but the stadium is simple, not nearly the kind of stadium Glendale has. Probably half-full, just like Glendale the night before, the same size stadium (I think). However, Utah has a surprisingly large Pacific Islander community, a fair number of that was at that game and INTO the game. You take that crowd and Glendale's stadium and you have something completely wild, but alas...
It sounds like Utah is fishing for a different stadium, since the 2020 schedule is out and Warriors game sites are listed as "TBD." I pulled in a lot of rugby on CBS Sports and Root last winter and spring leading up to that weekend, some clubs in the league wish they could get to half full, yet there's 3 new teams this year. We'll see.