Fantasy and Reality: NFL Ticket Prices

Detriot Lions Huddle

Experience on 3. 1-2-3 Experience! photo credit: yodie ann

Goodell quite fancifully insists that the stadium experience is all the NFL needs to change to boost game attendance during a recession for smaller market teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and even the division winning San Diego Chargers.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged at the annual league meetings that plenty of fans feel that way, although he stressed the importance of the in-stadium experience to the league’s long-term health, and he insisted that the coziness of home can’t match the thrill of the stadium.

“It may be more comfortable, but it’s not more exciting,” Goodell said, per the Florida Times-Union.

The Times-Union article is headlined, “Are broadcasts too good? Roger Goodell admits it’s a concern as blackouts loom.” It notes that among the Jacksonville Jaguars’ problems in selling out their stadium is the fact that even if the Jaguars are blacked out eight Sundays a year, fans in Jacksonville can still have a great day of watching football from their living rooms, especially if they have DirecTV or a cable system that offers the RedZone Channel.

That’s why Goodell says he’s so concerned with making the experience of going to a game better.

“We as a league are focused on it, and it’s one of our priorities,” Goodell said. “Our challenge is to continue to make it exciting for people who come to our facility. And that comes from a lot of different perspectives. You start with fan conduct. We talk about making sure people feel safe and they have a positive experience when they come to our stadiums. You talk about how to entertain them when they come to our stadiums. We have to do more with technology.”

via Goodell: Stadium experience needs to be better than home |

The reality is Goodell and his predecessor Paul Taglibue have overseen an NFL system where tax payers are held hostage by billionaires to fund stadium construction only to be rewarded by sky rocketing ticket prices and fees (like seat licenses). Goodell is saying the experience must improve, but he denies the biggest negative change in NFL experience from 10 years ago: the back breaking cost to be a season ticket holder.

The price of being a family who regularly attends NFL games has for many outpaced the benefit of seeing the games live. The average NFL ticket price? $75/seat in the 2009-2010 NFL season. Then let’s add in a variety of factors:

  • Most NFL cities do not have public transit from population centers to the stadium so this means most fans drive to the stadium. (Add in parking – add a low end cost of $5 per person)
  • The NFL game is supposed to be is a family league a family experience, so let’s use a family of 4 (husband, wife and two kids minus the dog – times 4)
  • Most lifelong fans have family and friend traditions (say a family of grown siblings or childhood friends and their children all attend the game together). They need to buy seat licenses to guarantee the right to buy season tickets for a seat next to their game day crew. These can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. per season. (Let’s add on 1000 per seat so you can keep the group together)
  • Season tickets also must be bought 8 home games. Plus all 4 pre-season games at regular season prices. (multiply by 12)

That is a real look at per game costs of a standard season ticket holder’s fan “experience”.

Now the other option? Those same fans get together every Sunday to watch NFL games together at someones house, split the cost of beer, food and NFL Sunday ticket (from $300 to $400 a season). Cheaper yet, they just watch the local broadcast of their favorite team. It’s much easier, much cheaper.

Comments are closed.