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The Cost Of Being An NFL Fan – An Explanation

A foreward: We are not going to focus this post on the player who retired or even the implications for the team because we are not one of those drooling, paste eating sports site. Instead, we will focus on the fan fallout in terms of the cost of being an NFL fan. 

For all of those who don’t pay attention to football, a big news story occurred two weeks ago in the form of a major player retiring. This player, named Andrew Luck, decided after 6 years (a better than average career length in the NFL) to retire due to injuries. To put things in perspective, this player retiring at this age would be equivalent of Gordon Ramsay retiring from Masterchef to spend more time with his kids. It doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of the finances and the societal expectations, but it is a legitimate reason.  The fan reactions ranged from a few expressions of sadness to outright booing and burning their jersey’s.

As an outsider this might seem a bit dramatic, mystifying, or even surprising. As a person who has loved watching sports, this is actually a bit more common than you would realize and there is a very good financial explanation. 

Costing for NFL Fan

When it comes to talking about prices, NFL teams and stadiums vary quite a bit in pricing. Prices are very much connected to how well or poorly an NFL tea is performing. Ticket prices are about $100 per game and is dependent on where you sit. Food range anywhere from $5-20 dependent on what you’re eating and beer comes in at a hefty $8 average per pint. To get to the stadium you will need to pay $20 for parking. Finally, who can’t forget the paraphernalia associated with rooting for your team which can range for $30 for a t-shirt to upwards of $99 for a jersey. Oh, and keep in mind there are at least 8 home games for each team. So this is how the maths work out. 

Based on our calculations it should cost the average NFL fan at least $1,323 per year to cheer on their team. This statistic doesn’t include travel to away games. A more accurate costing which takes into account the cost for NFL fans was done by pegged the average money spent each year is $2,364.27 on their team!

The Research Of the Actual Cost for an NFL Fan

Research finds the average NFL household income is about $50-75. This is about about a take home of $40-58k a year after taxes. This means for the average NFL fan, the yearly cost of a game is more expensive than an individual paycheck for the average fan!

Getting Back To The Crowd Reaction In Indy

$2,364 would is equivalent to an excellent vacation for a family. Instead of spending it on family, they are spending it on themselves to follow a team. This almost puts into perspective what happened in Indianapolis. It is also why when you an NFL team does well, you have these scenes:

Yes that is horse poop.

but also these scenes when they do poorly:

The hard truth. 

$2,000+ is a massive amount of money to spend each year. I used to go to Oakland Raiders games all the time and I remember my seat mates complaining about how little money they have. When you consider that the 68% of Americans have less than $1000 in their bank accounts,  $2,364 is twice times that amount! While paying to go root for a team gives you all the fuzzy feelings. It is not worth it, especially when weighing the pricing. Regardless of what the situation is, you may need to get a life if you’re spending that much and have your identity that wound up in your team. This is coming from a blogger who barely gets any views.

Alternate solutions

Instead of going to an NFL game, stay home. Don’t go to a bar, don’t go to a watch party, don’t even attempt to just go to a tailgate. You will end up spending a lot more money doing any of that. You will find that yourself eventually falling back into the habit of getting season tickets. Find some friends and invite them over to your house instead. You’ll have better seats than stadium seats, air conditioning, and much cheaper food. If you really have an itch to go to a football game, go to one game instead of season tickets. 

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