NFL – Priced out of Season Tickets

Posted on August 10, 2011

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Since I was 6 years old, and I’m 45 now, my Father has been taking me to see NFL football games, live and in person.  You could certainly say I am one lucky bastard, I know it, appreciate it, and enjoyed each game like it was gonna be my last one, because we talked about stopping for years now, my Father and I.  The first year for our actual season tickets was 1977, but we used to do the standing room only thing if we had to, the story goes, I don’t have specific memories of ’72 or ’73 season except for the last home game for the Jets in ’73. There was only about 5,000 people in attendance, we had a snowstorm that day, and everyone knew it was coming, so most people stayed home instead. It was against the Buffalo Bills, who needed OJ Simpson to get around 173 yards to break the 2,000 plateau. I do remember the Jets were getting crushed, and I was being told that the only thing left to do was root, not against the Jets, really, but FOR the record. My Dad says I was having none of it, and that I was the only one still rooting for the defense that we were watching through the snowstorm. He says that’s when he knew I was gonna be a “die-hard”, and it seems to me that I already was, you are what you do, you know? I didn’t complain about the freezing weather, either, that also probably helped convince him. It did seem that I was about the only kid there, because back then, things were much different, and it was no place for women and children, so you didn’t find many of us. The drinking was ferocious, as were the fans by the ends of games. On the other hand, as I grew up, we got to know the people around us, to the point they became our Sunday Shea Stadium family, even though we never saw them away from the stadium. Also, our ‘tailgate parties’, in the parking lot, always seemed to have at least 10 or more people, a lot of times there were 5 on 5, two-hand touch football games played before and after the NFL action.   Usually resulting in road rash type of injuries as the game devolve into drunken tackle/touch instead of two-hand touch, quickly ending the games, but not the partying.

Unfortunately, 2010 was our last year going to games together. 2011 will be our first year NOT going, my Dad’s turning 70, he’s more than ready to watch from the comforts of home.  I can’t afford the $125 ticket price (Season tix total: 10 wks x $125= $1,250 + $250 parking for year = $1,500 x 2 tix =$3,000), even if I had the money, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t buy them.  Until I join the ranks of the wealthy, I’ll have to leave it to the rich folk.  In addition, I’d really need to buy four tix anyway, I have two kids, and my wife would like to go too, if I’m gonna be spending all that on it.  I would really love to have a luxury box, and invite a bunch of people in there, but that’s not gonna happen, either.  But the money could be better spent, even average ticket prices are exorbitant; for example, I listed current prices, but in 1997, when Bill Parcells took over the Jets, a season ticket cost $200 (8 games x $25).  Parking was $5 per game, for a total of $240, per year.   Slowly prices were raised and preseason games were made mandatory as parking went through the roof while they forced us to park farther and farther away from the stadium, adding insult to injury.  Once you‘ve get inside, you realize that for the fan, it’s no longer about the football game first, either; now you get the hard sell from the many corporate sponsors, who interrupt the game at every opportunity, usually drowning out the fans, and in particular, Fireman Ed Anzalone, #1 chant-leader for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.

John Dullaghan

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