High Ticket Prices A Fact of Life in the NFL
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 02:09
Less-than-shocking news was reported by NFL officials last week: Tickets to February’s New York-based Super Bowl are going to fetch New York-style prices. In a city where a cab ride can burn a hole in your wallet and a cappuccino costs five dollars, Super Bowl XLVIII will be the most expensive in league history. So what’s the magic number? In a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the highest-priced tickets are going for $2,600.
At $2,600, you will hopefully be treated like a king. With access to indoor restaurants and a spectacular view of the game, those club-level mezzanine seats at MetLife Stadium will probably make up for the freezing February temperatures and sloppy plays on the field. They’re designed by famous architect David Rockwell, and, according to the stadium’s website, the club includes perks like reserved parking, a private heated concourse, upscale cuisine offerings and cushioned seats with cup holders. Yes, cup holders! Just what I needed for the big game. And best of all, I will have the “opportunity to purchase tickets to concerts and other stadium events.” As if $2,600 was not enough, the stadium is offering me yet another chance to throw away my money!
I have never heard of David Rockwell, and I could care less that he designed the MetLife premium club seats. I have all the architecture I need in my house on T Street. Should anyone have a car, I have two reserved parking spots in my own backyard. There will be radiators heating our house around the clock. My upscale cuisine offerings consist of homemade guacamole and some Tostitos chips. And of course, we have three sumptuous couches that offer plenty of cushioning. Sorry, we do not have any cup holders — but we do have hands, which supposedly work just as well.
To be clear, I am not surprised or even disappointed that Super Bowl tickets are selling so high. I just find it laughable. For the first Super Bowl in 1967, the face value of the most expensive ticket was $12. Since then, it has risen by astronomical proportions, reflecting the rising popularity of the sport. By 1984, the price had climbed to $60. By 2003, it had hit $400. Last year, $1,200 was the high mark.
New York does what New York wants, and if it wants to charge a couple of months’ rent for a few hours of a game that may or may not be entertaining, then so be it. $2,600 is only as insane as the popularity of the game itself. The stadium will still be sold out. People will still buy their hotdogs and sodas that are just as overpriced as the seats they freeze their butts on. Sponsors will still dish out four million dollars for a stupid thirty-second clip featuring Danica Patrick in a swimsuit or a goat eating Doritos. As long as the game’s appeal does not change, its revenue will continue to surpass any other event that mankind has ever created.
The price increase is not going to discourage people from attending. Many of the fans who attend the game — and especially those sitting in the premium seats — are not paying for their own tickets. The NFL itself owns about a quarter of the seats and shares them with business partners. Larger corporations will buy out boxes for their clients and employees. Only about 35 percent of seats are actually distributed by the two participating teams.
Even the cheaper seats — which will cost $500 this year — are relatively expensive compared to regular season games, which range from $50 to $100 at most stadiums. Considering all of the other expenses involved – transportation, hotels, food, tailgating, apparel – going to the Super Bowl can easily cost a family over four or five grand.
Most of us were not going to the Super Bowl anyway. But if I had to choose, I can think of a dozen better ways to spend that cash. I could take a vacation to Aruba. Or pay for the four years I have spent eating at Leo’s. Or buy five hundred Papa John’s pizzas and throw a giant block party. Welcome to my private heated concourse with upscale cuisine. Admission is free.
Nick Fedyk is a senior in the College. MORE THAN A GAME appears every Friday.