February 7, 2012

NFL Ticket Prices

Before the Super Bowl, Barbara Friedberg posted a topical question : FOOTBALL TICKETS; ARE THEY AFFORDABLE?   She happened to look at NY Giants season tickets.    I thought it would be interesting to look at the cost of tickets across the NFL.


I got data from the following sources and the numbers are a mix of 2010 and 2011 figures.   
A USAToday article gave the 2010 ticket prices for each time including the range of retail prices for tickets.
I found average ticket resale  prices at SeatGeek 
I got the attendance % figures for 2011 season off the ESPN website.


Here is a table of all the teams with the minimum and maximum retail ticket prices and the average resale price on the secondary market.  I also list the attendance % for the stadium in question.   100% attendance means the stadium sells out and I'm assuming >100% is due to some sort of flexible seating or something.

NFL Ticket Prices by Team :


Min Max Resale attendance
Arizona Cardinals $25 $112.50 $104.80 96.5%
Atlanta Falcons $55 $125 $115.47 96.8%
Baltimore Ravens $55 $135 $131.41 100.3%
Buffalo Bills $40 $80 $50.02 85.8%
Carolina Panthers $32 $97 $28.20 98.0%
Chicago Bears $68 $125 $178.51 101.0%
Cincinnati Bengals $60 $85 $42.31 75.2%
Cleveland Browns $32 $85 $106.06 90.0%
Dallas Cowboys $75 $239 $179.49 106.9%
Denver Broncos $45 $125 $66.18 99.0%
Detroit Lions $30 $140 $66.05 98.8%
Green Bay Packers $67 $83 $221.81 96.7%
Houston Texans $30 $120 $58.29 100.6%
Indianapolis Colts $38 $126 $162.55 102.9%
Jacksonville Jaguars $30 $98 $92.74 92.8%
Kansas City Chiefs $30 $145 $68.14 93.9%
Miami Dolphins $34 $120 $49.25 81.0%
Minnesota Vikings $15 $145 $46.38 98.0%
New England Patriots $65 $169 $160.92 100.0%
New Orleans Saints $25 $190 $221.13 100.1%
New York Giants $85 $160 $332.82 96.3%
New York Jets, $95 $150 $96.93 95.7%
Oakland Raiders $26 $151 $108.89 94.0%
Philadelphia Eagles $70 $95 $151.66 102.3%
Pittsburgh Steelers $64 $98 $143.70 97.0%
San Diego Chargers $54 $98 $121.02 91.7%
San Francisco 49ers $29 $149 $27.99 99.3%
Seattle Seahawks $52 $110 $128.57 99.1%
St. Louis Rams $25 $140 $151.81 86.3%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $25 $115 $80.10 86.2%
Tennessee Titans $45 $85 $34.78 100.0%
Washington Redskins $29 $99 $93.60 83.9%



As you can see theres a pretty wide range in prices from team to team.

The cheapest retail tickets are $15 to see the Vikings play.   The most expensive retail prices are $239 at Dallas.   On the resale market the cheapest average is just $27.99 for the 49'ers and the most is $332.82 for the Giants.

I'm sure there are tons of reasons that tickets can vary so much from team to team.    The performance of the team matters of course.  If a team plays well then more people will want to see the games and prices can be higher.   The fan base size can impact the ticket prices as well.   Its easier to sell tickets and charge more in larger cities with a lot of football fans creating higher demand.   Philosophy of the team ownership can matter as well.  I'm assuming some teams are purposefully keeping their 'cheap seats' lower cost so they can ensure that there are tickets available for a reasonable price.  The design of the stadium itself would impact all the ticket prices too.   Some stadiums may have minimum prices that are very cheap but maybe those seats are 'obstructed view' that virtually nobody really wants.  

Resale prices vary a lot as well.   They aren't directly proportional to the retail prices.   Resale prices can be a lot higher if theres high demand and if tickets sell out easily.   I am also guessing that the state laws regulating resale of sporting tickets could cause the price of tickets for some teams to be restrained.  I figure that the attendance % could also impact the ticket prices.  If a stadium sells out every game then its probably harder to get tickets and this could increase the average resale prices.   But if the stadium doesn't fill up then you'd assume its easier to get tickets directly and resale values would not get inflated.



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