I don’t expect you to see this, nor care what your fans actually have to say. But you should be concerned that 3 of the 4 home playoff teams needed extensions in order to sell their playoff tickets- one town, Green Bay, being the supposed ‘mecca’ of the NFL. If this hasn’t grabbed your attention, then it should.
As a fan and Seahawks season ticket holder, I would just like to make sure we’re all on the same page as to why. You (NFL) seem to think it has to do with the “in game fan experience.” I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. It has to do with the in-game costs associated.
Fans don’t want more loud music during timeouts. We certainly don’t want PA announcers to start sounding like they’re broadcasting an “And-1” basketball game like the NBA has done. We don’t need you to hand out little TVs so we can sit in the cold, but still see and hear it on TV.
What we need is an affordable way to experience being at the GAME, watching the GAME since we’re there for the GAME. Not the other fluff and crap that you think “enhances” the experience. We don’t prefer to sit at home and watch because of the “experience.” We choose to sit at home for the same reason that I chose to sell my tickets to the Vikings-Seahawks game, despite Percy Harvin making his one and only appearance of the season: $116 in overpriced tickets, $9 beers, $30-$40 parking, drunks using language that will guarantee I don’t bring my child to a game until they’re 16 and the horrendous traffic and poorly executed traffic logistics by the Seattle PD after the game. I guess part of that is the experience, but for me and, I’m guessing a lot of other people, the drunks and traffic would be more bearable if I wasn’t paying more than my car payment to go to a game.
The upcoming Seahawks home playoff game is a great example. After shelling out over $200 for tickets that cost me $58/each during the regular season, I’ll drive down to CenturyLink Field and probably pay inflated prices for parking as well- I’m guessing around $40-$50. Then I’ll have at least one beer – $9. The game hasn’t even started yet and I’ve already dropped about $250.
Not to mention, I’m paying for tickets with money the team with which I’m going to support will never see. For a second, I thought that TV advertising revenue was pretty important to you since we have to suffer through extended TV timeout after TV timeout during the game. But since you’re willing to blackout games that aren’t sold out, it can’t be that important. Since that’s the case, let’s move to 30 seconds between change of possession and if you want to show a slideshow of pugs or puppies or drunk Raider fans doing something stupid, that would be acceptable. Or you could just play a conintous loop of the monkey riding the dog from the Broncos halftime show during their game against the Patriots in 2011. Now that was great halftime entertainment!
My point of all of this being…the NFL is so disconnected from their fan base that they continue to raise ticket prices, thinking that the demand curve will operate minus the “invisible hand” of the actual market. Everyone has their “price” but the NFL thinks that fans have no ceiling. We do. You just went through it.
My advice. Cap player salaries. Find ways to cut costs, but preserve the integrity and experience of the game. Get rid of the new BS rules that slow the game down (that’s a whole other blog topic). Either become publicly traded as a league or give each team the option to become publicly traded to raise more revenue as well as improve accountability. Give the teams the money they deserve for selling tickets. Stop blacking out games so people will actually be able to develop an affinity for their home team and want to go to games outside of the one time per year their new favorite team, the rival team, comes to town since they’ve been able to watch more of their games than the home team’s games.
Also, if you continue to force season ticket holders to pay for pre-season games either scrap the pre-season or count the money we just burned to watch practice toward the price of our playoff tickets. If you’re the Browns, then nothing will change. Your fans will still pay for meaningless pre-season games. Again, another future blog topic.
It’s not rocket science. It’s economics. Simple economics…that even someone who did poorly in econ 101, like me, can understand. I also understand that I have the right to choose not to pay the prices and to not go to the games. And, this year more than years past, the reality of the cost hit me more despite being better off financially than in previous years. The ROI on my season ticket investment is narrowing and I will be thinking long and hard about what to do about the 2014 season. Pretty soon the stands will be filled with scarf-wearing, Audi-driving fans that don’t understand the game, have never played a down in their life, but are there because it’s the prestigious thing to do.
Seahawks Season Ticket Holder (2005-2009, 2011-Present) / Possible future Bengals Season Ticket Holder