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Is the Economy Destroying Sports?

AloneI must admit I really dislike this saying, but I’m afraid it may be true. Sports appears to have been affected by the “tough economic times” that we currently face. This “tough economy” is affecting more then just our lives at home too. One of the things we love most, sports, is the perfect example of this.

Last spring’s transfer market had the least amount of action of any in recent memory. Few teams purchased star players and most didn’t acquire a single footballer. In other words even the franchise owners have been affected by these “tough economic times”

And of course they have considering the fact that ticket sales have significantly dropped regarding the large majority of popular professional sports. And many people who used to have the extra cash to enjoy a day at the grounds simply do not have the cash to spend on such things anymore. Add in the fact that for a family to watch a live match the going rate is hundreds of dollars and it all makes perfect sense expressed in dollars and cents as the Roger Waters song goes.

For a family of four to go to an NFL football game the expected money spent is roughly around $500 dollars for three and a half hours of entertainment. The average NFL ticket is around $100 dollars a seat, the average hot dog costs about $4 or $5 dollars and the average large beverage is probably around $7 or $8. That means that if little Billy wants seconds he could be spending around $40 bucks for lunch at the game. And god forbid he wants a jersey or ball cap from the stadium’s gift shop or fan attic if you will.

And even if this typical family didn’t eat at a game and bought seats in the nose bleed section they still would spend roughly $200 dollars minimum at the park. So instead people have been going to the beach or doing other cost effective family activities considering the ridiculous value of a ticket and this is beginning to seriously affect the sports we love.

Next time you watch a Serie A match between two middle of the pack teams look for the ratio of filled seats to empty. The number is becoming staggering. And it isn’t just affecting a few leagues in a few countries either. Even here in the sports-crazed United States of America people just don’t want to spend their hard earned cash on a few hours of entertainment. Especially if their team is struggling.

The NFL season kicks off in three weeks and there are already 6 or 7 teams that have announced that they will blackout their home games this year for the local viewing public. And that number could potentially get even worse later in the year or next season if the struggling teams do not improve.

To me the solution is simple. With these “tough economic times” lower the ticket price. Doing such a thing would get more fans in the stands and, thus, would create a stimulus for our beloved sports.

 

Creative Commons License photo credit: frielp

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