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 an 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.
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.
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 of 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?
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.
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.