Blame it on the recession. Blame it on higher ticket prices. Or blame it on how awesome and affordable HDTVs have become.
Whatever the reason, there are fewer NFL fans buying tickets than anytime since 1998. Eric Grubman, executive vice president of NFL Ventures and Business Operations, told USA Today that attendance is expected to drop 1-2% this year.
Season ticket sales should fall 5%, but teams will make up some ground with single ticket and partial season ticket sales. Teams still keep charging more, however. The average ticket price raised rose 3.9% to $74.99 last season, according to the report.
“We know some of our fans are struggling. We don’t need to see the statistics,” Grubman said. He acknowledged some fans prefer to just watch more games at home.
“The product is really exceptional at home. That makes
it a little bit easier, if you’re having a tough time making ends meet,
to not go to the stadium,” Grubman said.
Rising television (and internet) viewers soften the decline in attendance, but an increasing number of blackouts would make it difficult for that trend to continue.