So the NFL has a wee bit of a problem coming into the upcoming Wildcard Weekend – the league is having a problem selling tickets in 3 of 4 playoff locations for the weekend – Indianapolis, Green Bay & Cincinnati.
In all 3 of those cities, the temperatures are supposed to be below freezing or absolutely nasty weather this coming weekend into next week, and for the games that will go into late the day, the temperatures & wind chills will go to below 0 at some point in the game.
The NFL is unquestionably one of the best products to watch on HDTV, cell phones, tablets, etc. The league has done a phenomenal job with making the product friendly to fans who don’t or can’t get to the game and want to have a home party with friends & family.
|Even the Green Bay Packers have had a hard time selling|
tickets to this weekend’s game against the San Francisco
49ers at Lambeau Field. (Photo courtesy of Packers.com).
However, with that issue, it makes the situation in terms of fans wanting to spend high prices on tickets to go a bit shaky. To go to an NFL game this season, the average price was $220 across the league, with the New York Giants, Chicago Bears & New England Patriots having the highest priced tickets. If you combine that with increased prices for the playoffs, plus buying 4-5 tickets for family, food, beer, parking, a family could easily blow close to $900 if the tickets for the kids are less.
And for what? To sit in sub-zero temperatures and have your testicles feel like frozen hockey pucks? Nope, not feeling it.
If the NFL is going to keep the prices at this level, they truly need to lift the local TV ban. Yes, it forces people to purchase tickets, but in an ecomony and society where people are having to pay closer attention than ever about their finances, not every die hard fan can afford a $200 ticket to see their team over 8 home games and possibly extra playoff games.
|Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis may not be filled this weekend |
for the Colts first playoff home game in the Andrew Luck era.
If tickets were more like $100 on average, the local TV issue would never be discussed. For an overall entertainment experience, the NFL is not the best sport live. Between having the NFL Red Zone package, NFL Sunday Ticket, excellent coverage on NFL Network, Fox, CBS & NBC, its a case of the league has made their own brand almost too entertaining on TV for its own good.
Going back to the bad weather, many people would much rather not fight the elements and go to a local bar or have a party at home where they can be warm and somewhat comfortable while watching. With the exception of the Indianapolis Colts, the Bengals & Packers play in outdoor stadiums in the midwest, and take it from a guy who lives in this part of the country, everyone is freezing like crazy right now.
The idea of sitting outside, especially if people are not going to fully be committed to the life & death of their team is just not appealing.
If the league wants to have some great karma with the fan base, lift the blackout bans during the playoffs. The teams will have far more than enough people showing up to the games to make it look good on TV, and it helps out the local economy in terms of bars & restaurants like the Buffalo Wild Wings type of places who depend on the revenue that NFL games bring in from customers.
Just some food for thought.