Discussed with equal vigor in boardrooms and bars and among fans and casual spectators, NFL ticket prices are an exciting example of economics at work. The National Football League, home to the ‘Game of America’, has enjoyed immense success since the American Football League’s merger with the NFL in 1969. The league consists of thirty-two teams in two conferences and each The conference is divided into three divisions with four or five teams in each division. The teams span a variety of what are known as large-market, mid-market, and small-market cities; the demographics of cities determine which market description applies and is roughly equivalent to a combination of population and television coverage.
At the top of the heap are big-market teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears—these teams have averages among the highest in terms of “average ticket price”. ; the average of all available ticket prices for your local stadiums. For the 2007-08 NFL season, the Patriots had the highest overall average at just under $118 per ticket; this average price is more than $27 higher than the second most expensive average ticket belonging to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Not surprisingly, the Patriots and Buccaneers had the highest percentage increase since the 2006-07 season, as each team’s average price increased more than 24%. The Bears have the third highest average price at $88.33, followed by the Giants at $88.06, the Jets at $86.99 and the Cowboys at $84.12. By contrast, the NFL average for the 2007-08 season was $72.20. Small- and middle-market teams like the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills had the lowest average price. The average ticket price for each team is under $60 and the Bills are just $51.24.
Another measure of NFL ticket prices is the average price of premium tickets. Premium ticket prices are a bit more difficult to define, as these tickets can include luxury seating, preferred parking, and other amenities that vary greatly from team to team and stadium to stadium. Compared to this metric, the Patriots continue to come out on top with an average premium ticket price of $567. The Jets are a distant second at $390 and the Bills, with the lowest average “regular” ticket price, have an average premium price of $160.
Perhaps the best general measure is based on the Fan Cost Index (FCI), a measure consisting of four average tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking for one car, two game shows and two adult tickets. caps. This measure is more indicative of total spending on an NFL game, and once again, the New England Patriots lead the pack at $596 for a family of four. The Chicago Bears, consistent with their second place behind the Patriots in “average” ticket price, are second with an FCI of $484. The average FCI in the NFL is just under $400 for a family of four.
NFL ticket prices have risen approximately 5% year over year, but twenty-three teams announced price freezes for the 2008-09 year. Most of the teams that have announced ticket prices have done so to support new infrastructure initiatives or other expenses related to their teams. While fans will continue to debate their relative value, it’s clear that NFL tickets will continue to sell out.