It’s that time again, time for me to rant about something in sports that is on my mind. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the rising cost of tickets.
This applies outside of sports too, Ticketmaster is under Congressional investigation because of their BS practices that have made any concert of a popular musician an absolute nightmare.
But I will stick to sports, and sports is where this problem is the most frustrating for me. Take the bowl game against Ole Miss. For three people to attend that game in a good seat with fees on a resale site it cost about $730. Three people at NRG for a good not great bowl game. Granted these were decent seats, but you add in the cost to park/uber, the concessions, and any other related fun part of the experience and suddenly you’re pushing another hundred bucks at least. At LEAST. That also doesn’t address that NRG intentionally closed the upper decks to cut costs and drive up the price of tickets. And I will address travel later, as for this bowl I was local and fortunately was spared that burden.
But man, I love Texas Tech but the costs are so bad I can go to a sporting event or two a year. I go whenever Tech comes to Houston because then at least I dodge travel costs. I am a second generation Tech alum, I went to so many games as a student to soak up that experience. Reduced to maybe a game a year hurts, and I know my experience is not at all unique.
For families with kids, I can only imagine how awful this is because you know kid will demand a lot of concessions on top of every other cost. Here’s the thing, at least in college maybe you can argue buying tickets goes to your school or a school. Yes, resale sites suck that part out of it but you still help the school out in some way as the ticket was originally claimed by someone. Presumably, though really you are just padding the fat pockets of Ticketmaster executives.
Football, and any popular sport, has this issue bad because you play home and away, and multiple times a year. If your team is any good, as we all hope, those tickets stay read hot. Then the next sport you want to watch comes around. And the next. And then say you are an NFL or NBA fan too, that is more money you shell out for a basic human fun activity. I am a sports guy, I consume more than the average bear. It would cost me tens of thousands to get to enjoy even a fraction of the sports I would ideally like to.
Now then say your team is good. Say your team is in the playoffs. Those tickets suddenly spike into the $500 range per person before fees for the worst seats. If not more. Then let’s circle back to that ol’ travel cost I ignored earlier. You add the travel cost of at least $500-$600 per person and oh my lord is it suddenly time to start considering taking on a second mortgage just to support your squad.
Don’t even get me started on Super Bowl tickets, I have not a single clue how anyone can afford an NFL postseason game. Sell a kidney? Become a killer for hire? I know robbing a bank works nicely.
Here is why this is happening, because we all pay it.
It is the damndest problem, in order to stop this gauging we all would have to deprive ourselves of the fun thing. The school’s we love would have to take a financial hit at the college level. For pro fans, you have the simple displeasure of not being able to support the team you likely have been supporting since the womb. The bad thing falls on us, the consumers.
I have no idea if this is long term sustainable, but I am willing to bet it is not. Surely, we will hit the tipping point. How much longer will fans pay for an experience when they pay $100 at home to watch all the sports on their tv?
I love the live action of a game, but I am not remotely alone in depriving myself of it in order to you know, eat and pay rent and save for retirement. So what happens if we all just have enough?
And maybe we all should just put our footdown. If we stick together, can we make it hurt enough to force an adjustment?
Who am I kidding, the Super Bowl is sold out and will be every year. But I like to dream it happens.