Lower Everything Prices
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A few months ago we talked in this space about the pay cuts several members of the NFL offices were taking, most notably the percentage taken by commissioner Roger Goodell (and how it compared to the percentage taken by the people who were laid off -- 100%).
Since then, the economy hasn't gotten any better. In fact, for many people times are worse than ever. Fans can't afford the luxury of going to a football game anymore. And frankly, that's what sports is...a luxury. We get to enjoy Sundays in the fall because we bust our collective humps during the week at work. Loverboy was quite the sage.
But if I can't afford to put food on my plate, how can I expect to pay the ridiculous prices at a stadium? Think about how much a game costs for the average fan. Parking is $10-20 depending on how far you want to walk. A case of beer and snacks to tailgate is another $20. Let's say a cheap ticket costs you $60 bucks for a seat. You've already spent $100 dollars and you haven't gotten to your section yet.
Food, drink and a giant foam finger later and you're looking at close to $150 to go to a football game. Do that 10 times a year (don't forget that things aren't cheaper in the preseason) and you've spent more money than a month's mortgage. And in this climate, the mortgage is clearly more important.
So are diapers. And food. And all the other things people need to buy to get their families by (full disclosure: I do have a Sunday season ticket plan for the Phillies this season). Times are hard and recreational activities are always the first to go.
So should NFL teams reduce ticket prices? Yes. Certainly they should. But more than the ticket prices, they should lower the parking. They should lower the concessions. Nobody should have to spend eight dollars for a cold ball-park hamburger. A side order of fries should not cost $5.75. Fries! They usually come for free with your meal, but at a stadium they cost almost as much as most people in this country make an hour.
If teams want to make concession money back after lowering the food prices, they should incorporate a beat the clock promotion for beer. Seriously, start beer before the game at $5.00. Every five minutes off the game clock raise the price another $.75. By the end of the first quarter, a beer would still only be $7.75. By halftime you're looking at an $10.00 brew. After three quarters it'll cost you $12.25 and if you're dumb enough to try and buy a beer on your way out of the stadium that frothy pilsner would cost you a cool $14.50... and your keys.
But in all seriousness, prices have gotten out of control. It's past the point where the average fan can take a family of four to a game. Even without food inside the park a family of four can't see a game for less than $250.
That's just not right.
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