How Much Have Sports Fans Saved? Find Out Here
28 Mar, 2021By: Michael Popke
Live pro sports, complete with spectators, are returning and in their absence, people have saved a few dollars. Now, they’re about to find out how much as they prepare to return to being fans in the stands.
TNBets.com, which covers sports betting news in Tennessee, analyzed the cost to attend a game at every National Football League and Major League Baseball stadium, as well as every National Basketball Association and National Hockey League arena. Costs were based on one general admission ticket, two beers, a hot dog and parking via Team Marketing Report’s 2019-2020 Fan Cost Index. The website then ranked the venues that cost the most, the least and all the ones in between.
Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas Raiders), Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs) and Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks and New York Rangers) emerged as the priciest in each of the four major sports.
TNBets.com found that a pro football game is far and away the costliest outing. Not only did Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas come in with the highest average NFL game day price using the established criteria ($236.97), but it also topped the list for priciest average ticket ($153.47) and priciest beer ($13), and it joined SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, in selling the most expensive hot dog ($7.50).
Rounding out the top three in overall fan costs were Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers ($202.75), and AT&T Stadium in Dallas ($198). The Cowboys also claimed the highest-priced parking in the NFL ($75).
It’s worth noting that Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium are the league’s two newest venues, both having opened in 2020.
The NFL’s bottom three: Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals ($105.69), Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns ($120.18) and State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home of the Cardinals ($121.33).
“It’s one of the oldest ballparks in the country and nicknamed ‘The Friendly Confines,’ but it isn’t necessarily friendly to fans’ wallets,” notes TNBets.com. The average price was $109.78, followed by Boston’s Fenway Park ($96.62) and Yankee Stadium in New York ($95.91).
Fenway received top honors for the most expensive average ticket price ($60.09), while Yankee Stadium offered the priciest parking ($29). The highest-priced hot dog was found at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. ($7.25) and one beer at the New York Mets’ Citi Field set fans back $11.
MLB’s bottom three: Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks ($46.38), Marlins Park in Miami ($47.07) and Pittsburgh’s PNC Park ($47.95).
Madison Square Garden holds the top spot in both basketball and hockey. The average price of a Knicks game was $260.38, and the team also was No. 1 in average ticket price ($180.78) and parking ($45) and tied with the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center for the cost of a hot dog ($8.50).
Overall, the San Francisco-based Chase Center ranked No. 2 on the most expensive list ($203.30), followed by the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the Lakers ($190.76).
American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, sold the priciest beer in the NBA ($15) yet didn’t even crack the top 10 list of most expensive arenas for fans.
The NBA’s bottom three: Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets ($63.11), FedExForum, home of the Memphis Grizzlies ($75.04) and the Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans ($78.30).
“While it is not as affordable as the average price to see an MLB game, an NHL game is still a reasonable option compared to an NFL or NBA game,” TNBets.com notes. Madison Square Garden, as it did in the NBA, led the way in the NHL with the average cost of attending a New York Rangers game landing at $182.43. The Rangers also sold the most expensive beer ($15).
Boston’s TD Garden, home of the Bruins and the league’s priciest parking ($29), came in at No. 2 ($162.36), followed by Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena ($160.01). The Maple Leafs also offered the highest average ticket price ($128.69).
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where the Knights play, tied with the Sharks’ SAP Center at San Jose for the NHL’s highest-priced hot dog ($7).
Despite the willingness of fans to fork over big bucks to watch teams play in person, they’re less enthusiastic about when they think venues will be at full capacity again. More than one-third (37 percent) think it will happen by the end of 2021, according to the 2,020 sports fans TNBets.com surveyed in January 2021. More than 20 percent said it will be sometime in 2022, while 12 percent think stadiums and arenas never will operate at full capacity again.
And it could be that when they do return, they check into smaller and more local events, like Minor League Baseball and even youth events - which have all the excitement, a fraction of the cost and generally, fewer crowds.
For a rundown of the entire report, click here.