It took the Saints a long time to get the fan base it has today. I remember some years of half empty stadiums, and that is for only eight games a year.
Check out this gem of an article from 1997 discussing how bringing in Ditka was going to help ticket sales.
"Home attendance slipped to 302,000, down from more than 540,000 in the early '90s. Attendance in the 72,000-seat Superdome averaged 37,750 a game." LINK