Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/5/12

There is nothing better than attending a pro sporting event, right? Some are for it, but I have a feeling most are against it. Truth is, I would rather sit at home and watch football games than attend them in person. People who have season tickets are crazy.

Tickets for football games have become increasingly expensive over the past ten years, so much to the point that it is keeping fans from attending games, leading to more blackouts in some markets. Also, the availability and increasing popularity of NFL Sunday Ticket has led to many fans staying home so they can watch players on their fantasy football teams.

Thanks to seatgeek.com, I was able to look up the average ticket price of a football game. The prices ranged from $332.82-$27.99 a game. Can you guess which team is priced the highest? If you guessed the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, you are correct. The San Francisco 49ers have the lowest prices ($27.99). 17 teams had prices over $100.00 a ticket, while 26 teams had prices over $50.00. Teams with prices below $50 were Miami, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Carolina, and San Francisco.

The St. Louis Rams have been one of the worst teams in football for several years now and they charge $151.81 for a ticket!

How many crappy stadiums exist in the NFL? Let’s name them:

The Metrodome, Sun Life Stadium, Edward Jones Dome, Qualcomm Stadium, EverBank Field, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum,

First off, let’s talk about the value of a live football game. I have criteria and needs that need to be met before I attend a football game. In order of importance, it goes:

5. If the tickets are free, I am in. But it has to be a meaningful game.

4. If it’s played in a brand-new stadium.

3. If my child has never been to a game. (I am a little young to have a child)

2. It has to be a playoff game.

1. If it’s the Super Bowl.

If it doesn’t meet one of those criteria or needs, sorry, I am staying home.

Why? Well, it’s not because I hate people. I actually like being around them. But sometimes, I just can’t stand them. No offense, but I don’t want to have to stand up every ten minutes because some guy brought his girlfriend to her first game and she wants to try everything on the menu. Nachos, popcorn, hot dogs, bratwursts, beer, ice cream, or anything else. I don’t want to deal with people. I think screaming babies or little kids are just as annoying as girlfriends. 

Lines are another negative factor. Standing in line to go to the bathroom or to get food can cause you to become impatient or miss a big play. 

Prices are the biggest negative factor. Even with the cheapest ticket, you still pay money for parking, food, drinks, apparel or other merchandise. You could easily spend $400 at one football game. 

Hypothetically, let’s say you bring your family of four to a game. Even if you don’t pay full price for the average dollar value of one ticket ($113.17; one step ahead of you) and you pay half the price of the average dollar value for one ticket ($56.58), you just spent $226.34 on tickets alone. Now, parking is anywhere from $10-15 (let’s take the middle number; $12.50), now we are up to $238.84 spent and you haven’t even seen the field yet. Now your two kids each want one nacho, popcorn and pop. Nachos are $4.50, popcorn is $4, and pop is $4. That’s $25 right there for two kids. Let’s say you are feeling stressed and you want a beer or two. Well at $7 a beer, that’s $14. Then you want food. Bratwursts are $5, hot dogs are $4, cheeseburgers are $5.50 and chili fries are $5. You decide to be cheap and get a hot dog and chili fries, “$9 please.” Don’t forget about your wife. She wants a beer and cheeseburger. Then she “thought” she could have a bratwurst, too. Of course, she eats have the cheeseburger and takes a bite of the bratwurst, then says, “I’m full.” That’s $17.50 spent on her, bringing your grand total to $304.34. But wait, kids love cotton candy and won’t be happy unless they each get their own bag. $5 a bag and $10 more spent. After $314.34 spent, it’s not even worth it if your favorite team wins.

So why is television better than ‘live” action? 

First: CBS and FOX usually broadcast a game at the same time. Even if it’s two teams you could care less about, you still might have a player on one of the teams that’s on your fantasy team. 

Second: You don’t have to deal with any traffic or parking. Notice how I didn’t mention traffic in the previous paragraphs? It was because I totally forgot about it while I was making my own nachos and popcorn. Yes, you get your own garage stall all to yourself and you don’t have to deal with out-of-towners, unless out-of-town family comes to visit. 

Third: I bet your favorite chair or any chair, for that matter, is more comfortable than sitting on hard plastic in a stadium full of people. You don’t have to deal with bobbing heads or people standing up. 

Fourth: The evolution of pausing, rewinding and recording television has changed the game, literally. No matter how many times you have to go to the bathroom, you can simply pause or rewind television. Also, you get instant replay from the broadcast and it all comes on a high-definition, flat-screen television.

Fifth: It’s more cost-efficient to stay home. Besides using gas and paying for game-day groceries, you keep money in your pocket. I would rather pay $3.50 for a bag of chips, $5 for drinks, $3 for cheese dip, and $4 for popcorn. $15.50 for all that and peace and quiet in your household is worth more than the face-value of a NFL ticket. 

When it comes down to it, I would rather hang out with a few friends, watch the games and have a good game. I don’t need the “experience” of being there in person.

I like keeping money in my pocket, but that’s just me.

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