New stadiums are resulting in dramatically increased ticket prices

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As the Falcons continue their efforts to replace the Georgia Dome (which has been deemed obsolete despite being used by the team roughly 200 times) with a retractable-roof venue, Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points to a trend that should be regarded as troubling in any city that will be opening a new stadium.

The three new stadiums opened in the past five years have in turn hiked ticket prices.  Significantly.

For the Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium, the Cowboys in their new home, and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, the three new facilities have experienced a 26-percent average increase in ticket prices.

Specifically, the Jets and Giants increased ticket prices by 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively.  The Cowboys increased ticket prices by an average of 31 percent.  And the Colts increased ticket prices by 14 percent.

Tucker offers up many more interesting details about the impact of new stadiums on ticket prices.  Still, in the end the question boils down to basic economics.  Supply, demand.  If the tickets will sell at higher prices, so be it.  If they won’t, then the prices need to come down.

Of course, the process of jacking up prices can screw fans in more ways that one.  Apart from charging more for the privilege of attending the games in person, a failure of sufficient fans to buy tickets at the selected prices will prevent the fans who prefer to watch the home games on television from doing so.

So before chugging champagne to celebrate the end of a 10-plus-year effort to build a new stadium in Minnesota, Vikings fans may be wise to toast with tap water instead.  They’ll likely need their Mumm’s money to pay for tickets to the new stadium that the taxpayers already are paying $500 million or so to build.

88 responses to “New stadiums are resulting in dramatically increased ticket prices

  1. It’s not about new stadiums or anything else.

    It’s about what fans are willing to pay. Jets, Giants, Cowboys, etc fans ran to the ticket windows anxious to spend.

  2. Knowing the nature of human beings, even if you raise the ticket prices in a new stadium they’ll still go to the game, so why not abuse them while I watch the games from my living room and big ass TV?

  3. What a deal! Make the tax-payers pay for the new stadium, then reward them by raising ticket prices…

  4. The Vikings are betting on MN folks having all this extra money to buy tickets?? This is like the current EPA courting trying to knockout coal in the US then telling folks that the coal which is the most abundant in the US that other sources are going to lower their cost every month. Let’s bet on nuclear now & hope that Japan (the most technological advanced of all countries) turning off all their plants was because its safer.

    If you have assets in your backyard to do what’s available as needed, you use them. Don’t try to outthink common sense or gamble with what you have, pretty simple stuff here.

  5. The numbers are a little skewed. I would compare a potential Vikings price increase to the Colts as opposed to the Jets, Giants, & Cowboys. They raised their prices quite a bit. 14% is a high amount but not as astronomical as a number in the 30s.

    Still doubt they raise the prices much with how much public funding they received. Plus Zygi will make his money and nearby land development more than anything.

  6. Ticket prices will increase until people stop buying them.

    Who cares that the NFL experience is no longer family friendly? Who cares if the only people who go to games are d-bags who spend the entire time on their phones conducting business because they can’t STOP doing business for 3 hours on a Sunday, because otherwise they couldn’t afford to go to the games either?

    It’s a stupid waste of money anyway. I can afford to go to the occasional game, but it is, plain and simply, not even close to being worth it. If tickets fall in my lap for free I MIGHT deal with the headache of driving to the stadium and finding a place to park….but even then it’s not a given.

    My point being, keep raising ticket prices until NO ONE shows up anymore. It’s how business works. And then blame other entities for your failure.

  7. With the success the Giants and Colts have had over the past Several yrs…I can see them raising ticket prices, but Cowboys and Jets? C’mon man!

  8. Interesting that Lucas Oil and Cowboys stadiums were both built mostly with public funds. Metlife was built with only private funds. So it makes sense that Metlife would see higher prices, but not so much with the other two.

  9. That’s just great. If the locals don’t pay the extraordinary ticket prices (and sell out), the game isn’t shown on television locally. What a scam.

  10. I grew up listening to the games on the radio and after all the greed and special interest maxes out, I wouldn’t be surprised if listening to the games is the only real choice for the common fan.

    We’ll be paying to even see highlights.

  11. Outragous player contracts are just as responsible for the soaring ticket prices.

    The NFL product would truly benifit from a “pay for Peformance” pay scale.

    It also needs a three strike system to keep these morons from acting so foolishly off the field.

    3 drug or alcohol convctions= no NFL contract

  12. And in what I’m sure is a completely unrelated matter, I can watch my team play every game on my $500 TV in high-def, with my reasonably-priced beer and my car parked for free in my garage, every single week.

    But please, NFL, keep telling us how important the “fan experience” is and hooking the stadiums up with WiFi. That will definitely make me want to be violated by your box office.

  13. The good old supply/demand argument. In this case the supply is ridiculously over priced tickets and the demand is either corporations who usurp the premium sears or the wealthy who fight for the scraps. The blue collar lifers were either forced to give up their seats(don’t forget the PSLs) or were pushed up to the nosebleeds in the upper bowl.

  14. On top of ticket prices, $35 parking and those $8 beers and $6 hot dogs also take a toll.

  15. I’m already saving for the inevitable PSL fee for the new stadium. While I am happy the stadium is being built, we are all going to get hosed on user fees and the state should be getting a cut to pay for this monstrosity, but that’s life in NFL stadium politics. The rich dudes always come out ahead.

  16. Speaking as a Falcons fan who grew up in Ga. then lived and worked in Atlanta for just over 10 years attending many games, IMHO a significant price increase would seriously damage the Falcons attendance. They already have issues filling the stands with Falcon fans now with some of the cheaper prices in the league and vs. teams with a national fan base (Cowboys, Packers, etc.) often come dangerously close to being out drawn in their own digs.
    Not only is ATL a transplant city but the Falcons truly have to fight the NCAA and the SEC in particular for every $ as much if not more than any franchise in the NFL does. Add to that the fact that most Atlantans feel the Dome is still a viable venue at the ripe old age of 20 and will be paid for within two years and then asking them to pay for a new stadium probably using PSLs as part of the equation and I can almost guarantee the tax payers will be picking up a huge amount of the tab as PSLs gather dust and former season ticket holders leave in droves.

  17. I’m no rocket scientist. But, how do you expect to pay for the maintenance of this massive state-of-the art stadium.

    I, for one, am proud that my team plays on the worst field in football. Not to mention that its surrounded by the ugliest looking stadium in the league.

  18. Obviously the quality of the product justifies the increase for the Yets and Cowpies…

  19. While no one is ever going to love rising ticket prices, I’m almost positive that people would be vastly more willing to accept it as an economic inevitability if the league and the teams didn’t seem so adamantly determined to also screw the fans out of every last possible cent on such associated costs as parking and beer.

  20. Yep…as a cowboys season ticket holder I went from paying $65 (Texas Stadium) for lower level ticket (14 rows from the field) to a 200 level ticket for $89. Get ready Atlanta, Minnesota, etc.

  21. The whole process of going to and coming from games is such a hassle anyway. I find it much more enjoyable watching them with friends at mine or someone else’s house. And if a game is blacked out? Well the , I thank god for the miracle of the Internet, which allows us to watch any game we want. Going to games requires so much patience and even more money. You have the ticket price, parking fee, food and beverage cost and the inevitable drunks you’re going to have to deal with at the game. Which is made even worse if you has kids with you. NFL organization have unintentionally made games more fun to watch on tv, in my opinion. Which is such a stark contrast to how it was for me as a kid. A time when I couldn’t imagine enjoying an NFL game anymore than by actually going to one. And for the loyal fans who do have the money and desire to go to games?? Well, they get rewarded by having their ticket prices jacked up, and by watching a bunch of millionaires (the players) and billionaires (the owners) squabble over how much of the pie they get to bring home.

  22. Bulletin – if people stop paying these prices THEY WILL DROP

    The reason the owners charge these prices is simple – they know there are enough suckers out there to buy them, including the PSL.

    I can recall when players had to have off season jobs to make ends meet, and I have no problems with their making good money now. But one of the inevitable results is some incredibly greedy owners.

    A lot of the the original supporters of the NFL going back 80 years can’t afford tickets any more – it’s the owners’ way of thanking them for their years of support.

  23. We are eventually going to wind up with only the wealthy being able to attend games and the rest of us will have pay per view. Only way the NFL and the players will be able to satisfy their greed.

  24. These sports leagues are falling so out of touch with the average fan and we have no one to blame but ourselves. While we’re all struggling to find jobs and pay our mortgages the players are making more and more and the owners are holding cities hostages for new billion dollar stadiums. But like an idiot ill continue to pay to go to games.

  25. Get rid of your annoying commercials that randomly start blaring noise.

    I left my browser on Profootballtalk last night, and randomly you have this outrageous commercial blaring which damm near woke up my whole house. Keep that crap off your site please.


  26. Getting season tickets will be reserved for family’s who spend time in the Hampton’s Martha’s Vineyard or on private Bahamian islands.
    The NFL is not marketing for the working class hero but the uber elite with Vineyard Vines ties and pink shorts.
    God bless the likes of Ralph Wilson who will sell you season tickets at the price of one Giants game.

  27. Just another example of how little Goodell and the NFL care about the average fan. In 2015 to buy tickets you’ll need to show your W2’s as proof that you make over 200k to attend a game.

  28. Eventually the NFL will kill the goose! They may be near. I quit going to games years ago because they simply cost more than they were worth to me. This year I dropped Direct TV package for the same reason with so many poor games last year. Obviously I was not alone because now Direct TV has significantly lowered the price.

  29. Are we being serious here? The Georgia Dome is obsolete? It’s a 20 year old building for goodness sakes! If there was a 30 year mortgage on it, there’d still be 10 years to go to pay it off.

    If we’re going to be demolishing stadiums after just a few years, then why don’t they just build temporary structures, because that’s what they are.

    I guess the Roman’s should have torn down the coliseum after only a few gladiator fights too.

  30. How much of an increase in ticket prices were the stadiums before these? Seems like the Cardinals stadium was built at about half the cost without a significant change from the college stadium prices and without PSLs. And somehow its still a world class engineering example and in line to host a second Superbowl?

  31. “Specifically, the Jets and Giants increased ticket prices by 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively.”

    Am I the only one who found it interesting that the Giants and Jets share a stadium, yet the ticket prices increased 6% more for the Jet’s than the Giants?

  32. We had friends who were offered a 5 year season ticket package to the Packers. Cost’s 5,000 up front for the first year and 5,000 more for each subsequent year guaranteed.
    They jumped on it. To them it was money well spent. They just gave up other things like travel, etc.
    Not all fans care what the price of the tickets are.

  33. There are already reports out of the Bay Area that long-time Niner season-ticket holders are being priced out of the new stadium. Then again, they’re spending well over a billion dollars for a stadium with 30,000 fewer seats than Cowboy Stadium and 15,000 fewer seats than the new Meadowlands.

  34. Two years ago, my eldest brother, my nephew and I started a yearly tradition of going to a few games a year together. I’m a Cowboys fan that lives in Boston (hint: screen name) and my brother and nephew are Jets/Cowboys fans, they live in New York. Last year we did both the Cowboys vs Jets in NY and Giants vs Cowboys in Dallas.

    Going to a game for us isn’t just about the game, it’s two brothers, a father and his son, an uncle and his nephew spending time together. On our trip to Dallas, we got to visit with distant family we hadn’t seen in many years, we had a great dinner in the Warehouse District of Dallas and we got to meet some great people from A Charity that supports the children and families of our fallen military heroes.

    I have an great group of friends I watch games with on Sunday, most of us like different teams,which is what makes our group really fun. However, traveling either to a home game for your team or a road game is much more fun. Going away for a weekend with friends or family to see a game is a great experience, even if you do it just once a year.

  35. Don’t forget the PSLs folks. Didn’t the Colts, Jets, Giants and Cowboys also charge their season ticket patrons many thousands of dollars (per seat) for the “right” to pay higher prices for their tickets at these new palaces? This has been going on since the Panthers came in to the league, I believe. I’m a Ravens season ticket holder and I had to pay a PSL fee when I got our season tickets back in ’96. Not the high fees that teams are charging nowadays but we still had to pay for “right”. There is also the scam where season ticket holders have to buy exhibition game tickets as part of their season ticket package. And yet we keep coming.

  36. IF the government would CUT TAXES ppl would have more money to spend on entertainment, and what every liberal democrat fails to grasp is that the more that CITIZENS spend (not how much the government spends) MORE is generated in terms of tax revenue.

    Citizens need to rise up and make the government cut taxes, then paying for stadiums won’t be a big deal

  37. If fans are still willing to pay the increased price than who cares. They are charging market value. If for some reason the prices are too high, people won’t go, games will be blacked out, ticket prices will than be adjusted and all will be right with the universe. I’d rather watch from home anyway. Cheaper beer prices.

  38. I go to a couple Bucs games a year and would like to watch the rest, except they are blacked out. But lo and behold I found out there are other things to do a beautiful fall Sunday! And I don’t have to be brainwashed by all the advertising, because I DON”T SEE IT! Take that NFL!

  39. So what you gotta be rich to go to a game? You guys know more middle class and lower all watch and love football more then your really snobby ass rich friends. If all prices go up then I hope all owners get so over greedy and end up killing the league cause all these guys who are in charge that have no football background are just about the $ and don’t really care bout football or the fans

  40. mattjay0101 says:
    May 28, 2012 1:46 AM
    Outragous player contracts are just as responsible for the soaring ticket prices

     Teams charge what they do because they know the max fans will pay. If the players paid for free teams would still have a price point fans would pay. Fans are responsible for ticket prices. Not the contracts.

  41. The Steelers are the model for modern stadium construction. They didn’t try to build any ridiculous, opulant palace. They spent in the area of 300 million for its construction costs………not any of this billion dollar nonsense that the Cowboys (and now Vikings) are getting into. Completely unnecessary. The Steelers built their venue for the purpose of watching football games and that’s about it……as it should be. Everybody else has lost the plot entirely.

  42. 9’ers are going way up. And the cost of most of those PSL’s. I am amazed how much corps/people can spend on this stuff.

    I wouldn’t be able to get over the insult of say a $75,000 PSL for 10 years and that then gives me the opprtunity to then buy the tickets. How about whatever you charge I get the 10 years license and the tickets to? Or if you buy a luxury box at $xxxK per year, how about you throw the food and drink in on that cost as well? I can’t believe people deal with this insulting double dip and such extreme prices.

    But for avg Joe fan, even in the old stadiums, you go there 10 times per year for 3 hours. To me all that is needed is for the restrooms to drainage to work, the rest is fine. Like do you go to a local HS game and say “No way I’m sitting in that dump!”? Whatever facilities they are offering you are good enough for you, who are you kidding?

    But no, so many have their inner glam muscle messaged going into a pretty palace. They wouldn’t even admit it, but what else could it be? You are a diva.

  43. dryzzt23 says:
    May 28, 2012 9:49 AM
    IF the government would CUT TAXES ppl would have more money to spend on entertainment, and what every liberal democrat fails to grasp is that the more that CITIZENS spend (not how much the government spends) MORE is generated in terms of tax revenue.

    Citizens need to rise up and make the government cut taxes, then paying for stadiums won’t be a big deal

    Not that I’m really a fan of either party at the moment, but I certainly hope you realize that taxes haven’t been _lower_ than they are right now in over 30 years. Rampant government spending isn’t the only problem our country faces, it’s an entitlement to a record low tax rate that people somehow feel is their’s because 10 years ago the countries economy was doing amazingly well.

    And to be honest, I think the stability of the country is more important than Football. That may shock some hardcore fans, but…without this country, the NFL would likely not exist in it’s current form.

    Food for thought.

  44. To all the privledged of Minnesota. Unite! Ziggy and his team need you more than ever!

  45. The new stadium plastic seats are so much better than the old stadium plastic seats. The improvement is so great you won’t mind that your new seats are farther away from the field and cost much more.

  46. ernie ernie says:
    May 28, 2012 9:35 AM
    We had friends who were offered a 5 year season ticket package to the Packers. Cost’s 5,000 up front for the first year and 5,000 more for each subsequent year guaranteed.
    They jumped on it. To them it was money well spent. They just gave up other things like travel, etc.
    Not all fans care what the price of the tickets are.


    It’s obvious Packer fans don’t care about money seeing how they flushed a boatload on team stock.

  47. Lawmakers need to outlaw the black outs.
    LA, a city with no NFL team gets blacked out if the Chargers don’t sell out
    Fox and CBS trade double headers each week – meaning each week one or the other has a game with no game on the other network to compete against. Lawmakers need to eliminate this as well.
    The NFL is a monopoly that needs to get its’ hands slapped. big time.

  48. What a great way to reward the fans and the cities that have built most of these stadiums primarily on public funding. These teams profits go way up and then they turn around and jack up ticket prices.

  49. I am a huge sports fan, but these stadium deals are a disgrace. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a facility that will be used 30/365 days a year. Does that make sense? Then, we throw millions at the athletes and concerts that play there…. AND pay $20-$60 to park to see them. Oh, and $8 for a 12 oz beer…… When will they start charging to use the bathroom?

  50. ownbay says:May 28, 2012 1:02 PM

    I know Im getting old when I see a stadium get built and then deemed obsolete.
    Yup. I watched the Georgia Dome going up from afar out my dorm room window my freshman year. Now the dorm is gone and appears the GD will soon be also. I need a drink as I suddenly feel old.

  51. I know Im getting old when I see a stadium get built and then deemed obsolete.

    so true. My uncle is a retired ironworker, and back when they were building the Eagles and Phillies new stadiums, he’d talk about how back when he was helping build Vet Stadium, he never thought one day his son would help build it’s replacement.

  52. @ernie ernie: Wow. Your friends payed all that cash to stay in the snow and eat cheese and drink beer.

    That’s a big reason why there is no team in LA. Without the packers, that little wisconsin contingent would shrivel up and die- what the hell would they do up there besides shiver?

    In LA (I hate LA, I live in south orange county, it’s crowded with transplants but it’s still nice) you take away football, we just do something else then watch it at home after we go for a surf.

    Unless you are liquid, all that $$$ for football is outrageous.

  53. LA won’t cough up public money for NFL style corporate welfare and I don’t blame them. If an NFL team wants to come enjoy all the benefits of playing in the nation’s second largest market with access to a fanbase of 15 million people let them pay for it themselves. Otherwise they can sit and squeeze the 300,000 residents of cities like St. Louis to pony up a billion dollars for a new stadium. The problem is money is drying up fast in these small communities and team revenue is significantly lower in places like that. Eventually the NFL will realize it needs to operate in big markets like LA and Houston and get out of struggling markets like Jacksonville and St. Louis if it wants to ensure the long-term popularity of its product.

  54. I am sure with all the people on the Vikings season ticket waiting list they will have no problem keeping the new stadium full.

  55. Only in America! I love it. We, the football fan and taxpayer, pay for stadiums so billionaires can “provide” us with team’s so they can bend us over and ream us for every cent we have.

    Here’s my personal theory. OK, we the little guy sports fan will build and pay for all stadiums, however in return, we must be offered $1 beer and $1 hot dogs at all games. There must be a fair trade off somewhere. Sports fans should unite across the country and start an association that looks out for our interests and is part of ALL new stadium discussions/referendums. Until then, we will continue to get the shaft. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  56. I can actually understand the rush to rebuild in a few cases. Minnesota had the dome collapse a couple of years ago, and in the Kingdome, pieces of the concrete ceiling were starting to fall at random times, and having concrete fall over 200 feet to the stadium floor is not a particularly good thing.

    I can also understand the need for new stadiums in places where the old one is at or more than 50 years old. Oakland-Alameda and Candlestick Park are two examples of stadiums that are way past their prime.

    What gets me is places like the Georgia Dome and the EJ Dome, which haven’t even been opened 20 years, are suddenly “outdated” and “need” to be completely replaced.

    Were the stadium planners so out of touch in the early/mid 90s that they couldn’t design anything that would last more than a generation? How can locals, who will be asked to help fund the new stadiums, trust the people in charge of making the new stadium that the new one won’t also need replacing in 15-20 years?

  57. People need to realize they’re being fleeced by billionaire sports franchise owners. There’s nothing LESS important than replacing “obsolete”, perfectly functional sports stadiums with fancy new glittering palaces. If a billionaire owner wants to spend HIS money building one, terrific, go ahead and do just that. But the public has to ignore these guys when they lord a franchise over a city and threaten to move to L.A. or wherever. Let them, after all, would the city of Atlanta really be any different without the crummy Falcons? It’s been proven time and time again that these cities derive no economic benefit at all from hosting these teams, yet the fallacy continues.

  58. And St. Louis was actually dumb enough to give the Rams and easy-out clause for their lease every 10 years. And they wonder why the team wants to go back to LA.

  59. You mean it’s NOT player’s salaries causing teams to jack up ticket prices? You mean it’s new stadiums, supply & demand, and dare I say just plain ownership greed??? Shocking. But don’t tell some of these “fans” that almost always blame players this.

  60. @eyeh8goodell

    The taxpayers picked up most of the bill for Heinz Field, as I recall. Same with PNC Park, Citizens Bank Park, and Lincoln Financial Field. You obviously have forgotten the big fuss in Harrisburg over funding the new stadiums. But it’s OK, you’re a Steelers fan, so you have a selective memory…

  61. “Outragous player contracts are just as responsible for the soaring ticket prices.”

    No, they aren’t. Actually, the reverse is true. Soaring ticket prices help allow high salaries but don’t fool yourself into believing that, if only players made less money, owners would pass on the savings. Owners will charge the amount that maximizes revenue, regardless of what their costs are.

    Ticket prices really are driven by demand, rather than the combination of supply and demand that determine the price of most things. The supply is inelastic in the short term (ie the number of seats does not change) even when the owners’ costs go up. Therefore, demand is the only variable. ALL price hikes are the result of us being willing to pay more. Like it or not, it’s the truth.

  62. The fact is it is still reasonably priced entertainment. I have season tickets and the Sunday ticket and I spend less on this hobby than several friends who golf, fish, or hunt.

  63. San Francisco is conspicuously absent from this coversation.

    What – if any – comments have been made with regard to Niners’ ticket prices once they either move to Santa Clara or don’t move and rebuild Candlestick or – heaven fordbid – hop into bed with Mark Davis in the East Bay?

  64. In this day and age, the sad part is that if the owners raised prices to the point that fans rebelled and stopped going to games and attendance fell significantly, the owners wouldn’t even take it as an objection to ridiculous prices- they’d take it as a disinterested fanbase unwilling to support their team. Then the owners would probably start looking at moving the team to another city. They just don’t get it.

  65. @paintersforms

    No part of my statement made mention whatsoever of WHERE the funding came from. If I have an issue with “selective memory”, then yours would be one of reading comprehension.

  66. The Steelers got somewhere around 80% public funding for their stadium. I wouldn’t call that “the model for modern stadium construction”– but in a literal sense, you might be on to something. By accident, I’m sure.

  67. And btw, you said “they” (presumably meaning the Steelers) “spent in the area of 300 million for its construction costs.” So tell me again about my reading comprehension skills.

  68. lucky5934 says: May 28, 2012 9:23 AM

    Am I the only one who found it interesting that the Giants and Jets share a stadium, yet the ticket prices increased 6% more for the Jet’s than the Giants?

    That’s because Giants tickets were more expensive to begin with. What really grinds my gears (Family Guy reference) is that they have 2 fan bases to pay for the building of 1 stadium but they still raised ticket prices through the roof for both franchises. You would think it wouldn’t be that high of increase for splitting the bill, but it still is cuz they CAN and WILL.

  69. Eventually, these greedy SOB’s will kill off the golden goose.
    Take the obscene concession prices and shove them. Stay home and look at DIRECTV. The whole game thing, is so much BS. Who the hell cares about the atmosphere, drunks, peeing in a trough combined with many teams having seversl crappy games a season. Plus the pre season games that are s&*tty as well.
    Fire Goodell, that louse

  70. Ticket prices go up because no matter how high the teams raise the prices there’s always some idiot willing to pay the price. If you’re spending 10K plus just for the right to buy tickets, congrats, you’re a moron. You get what you deserve from the NFL.

  71. how long have i been saying this?

    and how many of you sent me scathing emails for saying it?

    have fun vikings fans. you’re about to take it in the a$$.

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