- A few weeks ago, while attending an important late season matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets, I became a bit parched. Noticing that my buddy next to me could use something to drink as well, I headed up the stairs to the concourse. I found the closest guy selling refreshments out of a plastic ice chest hanging from his neck, and asked for two Bud Lights. $17 he says. Really? I thought he may not have heard me correctly and thought I asked for three, or four…nope, two Bud Lights for $17. I cringed as I opened my wallet and gave him a twenty. $3 back and two cold ones. As I walked back down the stairs to my seat, I felt…violated…and broke. I can assure you, that was one beer I definitely made sure to enjoy every ounce of. This is just an example of something that we all encounter when deciding to attend a professional sporting event. College games are very similar in fact. When you factor in the ticket prices, gas, parking, food, drinks, and anything else that you want along the way, it can become quite an expensive ordeal. Every time I go to a game nowadays, I keep expecting to see a table right when you enter the facility with financing forms stacked ready for us all to fill out.
Ticket prices to games are not getting cheaper, and I know this is not a news flash for anyone. Michael Cuddyer becoming a Colorado Rockie for more than $10 million per season did not happen because the Rockies cut us some slack and slashed prices for us all. Let’s look at the facts. The average ticket price for a Denver Broncos game at Sports Authority Field is $98.79. Two buddies go, park, get a hot dog and a beer or two…or three, or four….and this experience could easily be $200 or more per person. One sold out game nets the Broncos $7.5 million in revenue. 8 regular season contests plus 2 more pre-season games and that’s a cool $75 million, just in ticket sales, in one year. Hey buddy, wanna go see the Avs? Ok, average ticket price is $63, add in all the aforementioned extra stuff, and it’s another $100 or more per person probably. Last season’s average attendance meant the Avalanche made just over $38 million in ticket sales. The Nuggets average ticket price is $47.30, so they made $33.7 million. The Rockies have the cheapest average ticket price, at $19.50 a pop. Baseball has always been the least, primarily because they have twice as many games as the NBA and NHL. With prices for seemingly everything going up, fans still go to games and a lot of pro teams sell out on a consistent basis. Quite honestly, it is shocking to me that people still spend what they do to see a game live in person. Especially when what I am going to talk about next has gotten better and better.
Sports on TV…It has always been great, as some of the highest rated shows ever are sporting events. But over the last ten years or so, it has evolved into an amazing experience. High Definition TV seems like it was invented for sports. Am I wrong? HD for sports is like peanut butter for jelly, they were just made for each other. The added cameras at games, and various camera angles are truly awesome. The super slo-mo and instant replays have become a huge part of any telecast. The announcers, not only in the booth, but on the sidelines, and back in the studio. If something happens during the game, you hear about it almost right away. If you are at the game, sometimes you have to wait until listening to the radio on the way home to find out how a player got injured. The score, with the period and time remaining in the corner of the screen that is very easy to see. This invention seems very basic, but only began in the early 90′s when Fox introduced the “Fox Box”. It is part of every sporting event everywhere nowadays. The players being mic’ed up so we as fans can hear what is said on the field during battle. If you happen to have the NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV, good lord, it’s basically an all day football orgasm. Flipping between games, avoiding commercials completely, it is just an amazing experience for any NFL fan. These are just some examples of how the TV product has become just unbelievably great when it comes to sports. And you wanna talk about other advantages of just staying home to watch a game? Much cheaper food and beverages, with the quality often times being better as well. With DVR’s, you can pause the game, do what ya gotta do, and come back and start where ya left off. One of the best parts is that there usually isn’t a line to go to the bathroom at my house…and it’s a lot cleaner.
Why do we continue to shell out ridiculous money to go to games? As a sports fan, I do get it, somewhat. Being there to potentially witness an amazing game, and talk about it for years to come. Experiencing something with a close friend that you both can remember for the rest of your lives. Sports is one of those things in life that seems to bring us all together at times. Rooting for our home town teams, hoping the underdog pulls off the incredible upset, and seeing in person amazing athletic accomplishments. I have been to many games during my life, and have some great personal memories. As time goes on, however, I will probably attend fewer and fewer games. But on the other hand, the memories I have of my favorite teams going forward will be much clearer…It’s called HDTV, baby!
Denver Sports by J Simp