Memo to the NFL – if you want to address the issue of fans staying home on game day, lower your ticket prices! While you’re at it, stop charging $9 for a glass of beer!
We’ve gone through an era of escalating ticket prices across all of the major sports, and given the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis, expensive sports tickets have had to compete with other family dollars, and in many cases they are losing out. Throw in obsene prices for beer, soda and food and you end up with a pretty expensive proposition for families in particular.
But when you listen to NFL executives, you hear about making the stadium experience better, particularly with easy Wi-Fi access and all sorts of cool apps relating to the game. That all sounds great, but let’s not pretend it’s going to move the needle on decisions to attend a cold game for a bad team versus watching it on a big screeen television. This recent article throws cold water on the notion that fans care much about team apps or sports apps while they’re at the game. Developing a cool team app is not a silver bullet here.
I think plenty of fans will be happy to be able to upload Facebook photos and check fantasy football scores during an NFL game. But I suspect making the game day experience less expensive will go much further to bring the fans back.