2013 NFL Fan Cost Index®
By Jon Greenberg
The New England Patriots are back on top.
Without raising ticket prices, the Patriots are once again the most expensive average ticket in the NFL at $117.84, according to the Team Marketing Report™ 2013 NFL Fan Cost Index®.
Because after a 6-10 season and some very noticeable fan discontent, last year’s No.1, the Jets, lowered prices by 6.5 percent, according to the exclusive Fan Cost Index® (FCI) survey. They still have the third-highest ticket price at $110.28.
The Jets’ stadium partners, the New York Giants, are second ($111.69), while the Dallas Cowboys ($110.20) are fourth and the Chicago Bears ($103.60) are fifth.
The Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, are next at $100.19, the last of the six teams with an average ticket price of at least $100.
The average NFL ticket this season is $81.54, a 3.1 percent increase from last year, according to TMR’s FCI formula.
The average NFL premium ticket (which includes clubs, but not individual luxury suites) is $247.85.
The average FCI number, which is the cost for a family of four to attend a game, is $459.65, a 3.7 percent increase.
The FCI number is comprised of four tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult-size hats. Premium tickets, as designated by the teams and TMR, are not included in this average.
The Cowboys have the highest FCI at $634.78, followed by New England ($611.26), the Giants ($582.76), the Bears ($577.42), and the Jets ($577.12).
This season, 17 teams showed average ticket price increases of at least 1 percent, compared to 10 last season, and nine the year before.
The Bills, Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only teams that showed a percentage decrease of more than 1 percent, compared to six in 2012. The Buccaneers had the biggest percentage decrease at 14.6 percent, dropping their average ticket to $63.59.
The cheapest average ticket is once again the Cleveland Browns at $54.20. The Buffalo Bills ($57.75) are the only other team with an average ticket price under $60.
The Super Bowl runner-up 49ers (who did not respond to the survey) kept prices the same ($83.54) in their last year at Candlestick Park. Next year, the 49ers will move to Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara, Calif. The cheapest ticket there will be more expensive than the current average.
Levi’s Stadium season tickets will range from $85 for 400-level corner and end zone seats to $200 for 100-level sideline seats. That doesn’t include seat license fees which range from $2,000 to $12,000.
The Browns also have the cheapest FCI at $343.80, while Carolina ($365.38), Buffalo ($365.98), Tampa Bay ($366.76), and Kansas City ($374.68) round out the bottom five.
The NFC East continues to be the most expensive division, with an average ticket price of $102.67, while the NFC North had three of its four teams increase prices for the second straight season.
When it comes to tickets, are fans getting what they pay for? That depends on the market.
In the AFC, the top five average tickets this year include four playoff teams from last season and the Jets.
In the NFC, out of the top five average tickets, there is only one team that made the playoffs last season, Washington. But Chicago and New York had winning records, while Dallas was 8-8.
The only team in the NFC top five with a losing record last year was Philadelphia, which finished 4-12. The Eagles fired longtime head coach Andy Reid and hired Oregon coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles, which did not respond to the survey, raised ticket prices by 10 percent to $93.01.
One of the new trends in the NFL seems to be a $5 beer.
Cleveland is one of seven teams that are offering a discount $5 beer, according to TMR research. Cincinnati, Houston, the Jets and Giants, San Diego and Tennessee also reported that price point. The average cheapest NFL beer option is $7.05, with 14 teams reporting a cheapest beer option at $7.50 or higher.
Last season, San Diego offered a $5 beer before the games and $9 beer during the game. It was so successful the Chargers decided to sell 12-ounce Bud Lights for $5 in several locations throughout the stadium.
The Jets and Giants also added a $5, 12-ounce option this season, also at special locations. Last year, the cheapest beer sold at MetLife Stadium was $8.75 for a 16-ounce.
The Bengals continue to offer a $5 can of Pabst Blue Ribbon at certain spots in Paul Brown Stadium.
EDITOR’S NOTE: TMR often makes retroactive changes to team information that affects averages from year to year. That is why past averages don’t always equal percentage increases or decreases.
UPDATED: The FCI was updated on September 12th to reflect new beer pricing information from the Detroit Lions.
To view the full Fan Cost Index and attached press release, please click here.