NFL Games: Fun, but Expensive

It is the middle of October.  This is my favorite time of year.  The weather has cooled down some. The fall foliage in North Pocono is panoramic.  Pumpkin flavored everything is available.  If you are a football fan, both the college and the NFL seasons are in full swing.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend my annual NFL game.  My friend Chris and I went to the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Arizona Cardinals game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.  While we had a great time, the cost to attend a NFL game is getting more and more expensive every season.

Getting to the Game

It is about 120 miles to drive from where we live in Northeastern Pennsylvania to South Philly.  It costs $20 in gas for the round trip.  That is not too bad.  The shortest and by far the most practical way to drive there is to take the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  That is another $20.  That puts us at $40 in travel expenses.

Parking

The cost to park at the stadium is $40.  In my opinion, that is outrageous.  Yes, we could park outside of the stadium.  While parking at the stadium is expensive, it is also convenient.  If we looked for a spot outside of the sports complex, that would bring up the other issues of safety and theft.  I would rather pay an outrageous price to park than to have my car broken into or even stolen.  There is not a better option than shelling out the $40 to park.

Tickets

I have been to many professional and college sporting events.  At this stage in my life, if I do not have good tickets, I do not want to go.  I have sat with drunks before.  For me, that is not fun.  I want to enjoy the game with limited nonsense from obnoxious fans.

For this game, we had great seats.  We bought Club Level seats from a season ticket holder.  They were expensive, but worth it.  A ticket cost $295.00.

Since I just had to buy one ticket, it was not too bad.  For a whole family to attend, that would be an expensive day to watch a football game.  I honestly don’t see it as a practical family outing if you had to buy four or five tickets at that price.

There were not many families sitting in this section.  There were a few, but it appeared to be mostly couples or groups for friends.  That is unfortunate because I have such fond memories of attending NFL games with my father from my childhood.  Yes, you could buy cheaper seats, but do you want your kids subjected to such foul language and drunken antics?

Food

The cost to eat at an NFL game is also pricey.  It is a long game and I get hungry rooting for my team.  Of course, fans are not allowed to bring their own food into the stadium.  The cost of a cheese-steak sub was $9.  That is much more expensive than the local sub shop.  A soda cost $4.50.  I also had the famous Crab Fries from Chickie’s and Pete’s for $10.50.  It cost me $25 for lunch and a half-time snack.  I also bought Chris two hot-dogs for $5 each.

Fortunately for me, I am not a beer drinker.  The cost of a beer is $8.50.  While that seems expensive to me, they still seem to be selling beer in mass quantities.  I watched a guy who was sitting few rows down from where we were sitting drink at least 6.  I hope he was not driving home.

It takes about one hour to get out of the parking following the game.  Instead of fighting with traffic, we hung out at Xfinity Live after the game.  We decided to have dinner there to fuel up for the ride home.  We each had a burger.  It was good and the service was quick considering there were thousands of people there.  The bill came to $35.

Conclusion

Even though it was an expensive day, it is still fun for me.  I normally only go to one game per season.  The eagles won, so that made it more enjoyable.

It was cool to watch Carson Wentz play well for the Eagles.  It was also neat to see some of the NFL legends who play for Arizona.  I have always enjoyed watching Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer is on my fantasy team.

I hope the prices do not continue to rise, but they most likely will.  Once you get to experience the good seats, the cheap seats are not an option.  I guess that I am guilty of lifestyle creep when it comes to attending a football game.

Some people say that the best seat is at home in front of the hi-definition television.  I agree that technology has made football America’s number one sport to watch on television.   While I do watch more than my share of football on television, there is nothing like the roar of the crowd when the Eagles make a stop on defense or the offense scores a game winning touchdown.

Do you think that professional sports are pricing themselves out of business?

Please share your thoughts on the increasing costs to attend a sporting event.

7 thoughts on “NFL Games: Fun, but Expensive

  1. Steveark

    While expensive it is a pretty cool experience. Except I’m a Dallas fan and, well, life is hard for us even though it might be getting a little better. But the Eagles, grrrrrr. Great post!

    Reply
  2. Mustard Seed Money

    My grandma gave up season tickets to the Redskins after holding them for 50 years. The experience at FedEx field had gotten to the point nobody in the family wanted to go. Plus the Redskins are in constant chaos which I’m sure as an Eagles fan delights you 🙂

    Sounds like you had a great experience especially with your great QB. Good luck on the rest of the season!!!

    Reply
  3. Kris

    I think it’s pretty cool that the sports complex in Philly accommodates all four teams in one area. I’ve been there beforeand love the setup of the ballpark, arena and stadium in that vicinity.
    Levi’s Stadium over here in the Bay Area has been a disappoint so far. The owner doesn’t know about creating a good fan experience and product on the field has been disappointing since they fired Harbaugh.

    Reply
    1. thefinancialjourneyman Post author

      It is a nice sports complex and easy to get to since it is right off of I-95.

      I guess Levi Stadium is about 50 miles outside of San Francisco. That is kinda far for people who live in the city. Is there public transportation from the city out to Levi Stadium?

      Btw, we spent a week in the Bay Area for our Honeymoon. We loved it. We want to take a trip out to the west cost soon.

      Reply
  4. Kris

    Yeah your right, it’s about 50 miles between SF and Levi’s and the only public transit option is train to Mountain View(suburb in the South Bay) then transfer to a light rail that takes you to the stadium. It takes about 2-3 hours so SF residents have make a whole day planning around going to a niner game.
    Nice, great to hear you guys love the Bay Area. So many activities you can do here. Let me know whenever you guys want take a trip over here. I’ll give you some tips how to get around.

    Reply

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