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Fan concerns: Cost is an issue

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Posted Aug. 07, 2012 @ 5:06 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Editor's note: PFW spoke with fans recently about some of their concerns regarding attending NFL games. To read the main story, click here. Below is what fans had to say about the price of attending a pro football game.


Let’s not bury the issue. Most fans find the sporting event experience to be quite expensive. It bothers some a lot, others a little or not as much.

Michael Davis: “Cost is the biggest issue with going to games. The face value of my tickets is $80. That, plus parking and I know we are easily over $200 to go to a game. And that’s not counting anything else you might get into during the day.”

Robert Amberg: “All the sports, to get decent seats, are just way out of sight. I have had premier seats at Staples Center — Kings, Lakers and Clippers games — for about 10 years now, and I am starting to phase out of that now. Part of it is financial reasons; sports are definitely priced for a more high-end user.”

Chris Jones: “I see where cost can be an issue. You figure $1,000-$2,000 or more per season for tickets, $6 for a slice of pizza, $9 for a beer, $20 for parking. And I’ve heard the game-day experience in Jacksonville is amongst the cheapest in the league, though. Every Sunday at the stadium does cost me a good bit of money. It’s worth it to me — my girlfriend would say otherwise.”

Ernie Rupp: “They have a monopoly in non-college towns. You are stuck with that product. They are charging $30 to park and $8 to $9 for a beer or $7 to $8 for a soda and (the cost of) a whole meal at a casual dining restaurant for a hot dog. It gets to be a little expensive for a family of four. I know here in Kansas City, they have priced themselves out. People can’t afford tickets.”

Adam Siegel: “I think the cost is pretty prohibitive if you don’t have a really good job. Most people — most of my friends, anyway — can’t afford it.”

Adam Goldstein: “It’s definitely a factor. The first year I had tickets, I paid $300 for mezzanine level tickets and now I pay $1,200 for upper level. It has gone up quite a bit.”

Rodney Knuppel: “I am a school teacher. I am not making millions. I am trying to evaluate this year if I can afford this. This year is an experiment for us. Maybe after I do this, I won’t like going down to the games. Maybe I’ll want to sell my tickets. It’s really a learning experience for me. I want to see what it’s like to be at these games. But cost is a major issue. I am guessing most people are the same.”

Ernie Rupp: “The fact that they make you buy the preseason games, which you don’t really want to watch, really stinks.”

Adam Goldstein: “Don’t forget about (two) preseason games, too.”

Christian Ferris: “I give away my (two preseason games). I might get something for them, if I am lucky.”

Rodney Knuppel: “I am excited for the first preseason game. But they might get old to me, I am not sure.”

Paul Theoret: “The biggest thing with the Bills are the games in Toronto. It was a real mess as a ticket holder. To get the same seats in Toronto, they made you make a five-year commitment and pay four times the face value of the ticket. Including preseason. When they failed to sell out there, they changed the price point and started changing things for the better.”

Ernie Rupp: “Maybe the networks should buy in and the preseason is shown on the networks. Maybe that’s the solution. The advertising dollars could help. They end up donating most of the tickets here to charity, which is a great thing, but full price for third-stringers playing … I don’t know why we should pay for that.”

Michael Davis: “I never drink or eat at the stadium. Very, very rarely. When I did drink, I would drink before the game.”

Brian Elliott: “I don’t drink beer at games. I might get nachos every now and then, but not often. Too expensive and not that good. I eat before. I used to work as a concession vendor at Three Rivers (Stadium) when I was young. That’s probably why I don’t eat there: I saw what went on there. No one wants to see the sausage made, so to speak.”

Ernie Rupp: “Thirty bucks to park is a little expensive to park, especially when (the Chiefs) own the parking company. They don’t pave it every year. They don’t spend $30 per patron (per game) on upkeep, I know that.”

Adam Goldstein: “Then you throw in parking. I don’t really do a lot in the stadium — I might buy a beer or something — but cost is a big factor. I have a 16-month-old (child), and I just have to find ways to get it done. It’s gotten harder.”

Ernie Rupp: “I had four tickets until about 4-5 years ago. We had to let them go. We couldn’t justify $500 coming out of the bank account every Sunday.”

Lisa Pfeiffer: “Tickets are expensive, but that was no a factor in our decision (to not renew season tickets).”

Paul Theoret: “For Buffalo, the ticket prices were really fair.”

Travis McDonald: “The prices … what are you going to do? It is what it is. Every sport is expensive. Every venue charges that. I don’t think football is going to change that.”

Robert Amberg: “Candlestick has been pretty good for ticket prices. With the new stadium, in order to protect my rights, I decided to sign up for a seat license. It’s a lot of money, but I thought about how much I wanted to be up there and see the new stadium and be a part of it. I hope it’s also a good investment in case I need to get out at some point.”

Adam Siegel: “Everything is fairly reasonable. I don’t drink that much anyway. But a beer is $8. You can go buy a case for that here. Most people drink outside (the stadium). They pound beers in the parking lot and have one or two inside.”

Chris Jensen: “It is what it is, especially at Soldier Field. You technically have the biggest market because we’re not split like New York. We have one team here and a smaller stadium, so prices are driven up. The thing is, if I don’t want to go, I can sell the tickets for $400 or $500. Even after Jay Cutler and Matt Forté were hurt, I had no problem selling my tickets last year.”

Ernie Rupp: “The Chiefs have a family section, and it’s lower-priced, in the endzone. It’s a good thing, but not everyone can get those seats. I don’t think you are getting families all the time, either — it’ mostly the lower prices.”

Adam Siegel: “The NFL, the way it is now … the costs are going to keep rising. You kind of know it’s going to be that way.”

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