NFL Ticket Prices Up Nearly 3 Percent For 2012 Season
By Tim Richardson
Things are always more expensive in New York, and the Jets are living up to that label by ranking atop the National Football League's 32 teams with the highest ticket prices.
Team Marketing Report is the leading publisher of sports marketing and sponsorship information, and is used daily by executives from collegiate and professional sports properties, sponsor companies, marketing agencies and media partners. According to the organization's recently released 2012 Fan Cost Index, the Jets' average, non-premium ticket price is $117.94.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reported that the New England Patriots finished second at $117.84. The reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants ($111.69) were third, the Chicago Bears ($110.91) were fourth and the Dallas Cowboys ($110.70) rounded out the top five on the list.
Chicago recorded the study's largest percentage increase at less than 10 percent from the previous year. Team Marketing Report's Jon Greenberg said Chicago essentially priced every single-game ticket $25 higher than a season ticket. The Bears, who finished 8-8 last season, have the smallest seating capacity in the league (Soldier Field, 61,500) and have raised ticket prices during nine of the last 10 seasons.
The report states that the average cost of a NFL ticket is $78.38, a 2.5 percent increase from the 2011 season. According to Baker Koppelman, the Baltimore Ravens' vice president of ticket sales and operations, the cost of an average, non-premium ticket (not factoring in club/suite tickets) for a home game is $86.63, which is 12th among NFL franchises.
Team Marketing Report's annual survey also discovered that the cost for a family of four to attend a game in 2012 has risen 3.9 percent from last season and now stands at $443.93. The FCI formula consists of the cost of four non-premium tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult-size hats. Premium tickets (club/suite tickets) are calculated, but not included in this average, according to Team Marketing Report.
Fans of the Cleveland Browns reap the benefit of the most inexpensive price, with the average ticket at $54.20. The Jacksonville Jaguars offer the lowest cost for taking a family of four at $342.70, $1.10 cheaper than Cleveland.
The Ravens have sold out every home game played at M&T Bank Stadium and have the opportunity in 2012 to make the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. Despite their on-field success, the Ravens did not raise season-ticket prices for the current season.
"The decision came down to a consideration of the economy over the potential increase in revenues we might generate," Koppelman said. "We did not feel it was necessary to raise the price."
That was good news to John Vendetti, a Jarrettsville resident who has had four season tickets since the team arrived in Baltimore. At the time he purchased his season package, the Premium Seat License, or PSL, was $750 per seat and his tickets were $48 per game for each seat. Today, Vendetti's seats are worth $90 per ticket for each game, and he said he had always planned to renew his season tickets for 2012.
"The waiting list is so long that I would have purchased season tickets regardless of whether the Ravens increased the price for this season or not," Vendetti said.
Although he is glad the team didn't raise season ticket prices, he said he didn't agree with the pricing structure in his package as it relates to the preseason.
"My only dislike is that season-ticket holders are required to purchase two preseason games for the same price as regular-season games," Vendetti said. "You are paying full price for games that aren't full value. The starters might only play a quarter, at most, so I think they [preseason games] should be at a reduced price, considering they aren't regular-season games and the roster is still fluctuating."
But Vendetti said he knew that if he chose to give up his tickets because of those preseason games, there would be plenty of people waiting for the chance to purchase a PSL and become a Ravens season-ticket holder.
"Since it's only eight home games, compared to 81 in baseball, I'm not surprised that they continue to sell out," Vendetti said. "Plus, the Ravens organization has put a good product on the field for years, and there is a certain excitement level that surrounds being competitive every season."
Posted Sept. 12, 2012