Are NFL Preseason Ticket Prices Too Low?

Jim CantrellSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2008

Yeah. So, welcome to my article.

I know why you're here. You want to know if the humor guy has finally slipped a nail file past the brain warden. NFL preseason ticket prices...too low? Um, right.

Have I been drinking the bong water or what?

Well, the answers are: Yes, NFL preseason ticket prices are too low; and no, I don't drink.

But I do read.

And today, my local newspaper ran its 473rd editorial about NFL preseason ticket prices and how the mean old NFL is ripping off the public every summer by charging full price for what amounts to two practice games.

The sentiment that permeates most of these letters is that the NFL is callous and cruel. You know, the same kind of sentiment usually reserved for people who don't recycle or people that eat hamburgers.

And it's about as true as Pamela Anderson's bust size.

Now, before you start reflexively whining about how the NFL owners' force fans to purchase these games in order to be season-ticket holders, let me ask you one simple question:

So what?

"But Jim, those games are meaningless. They're played by a bunch of guys destined to be car salesmen or accountants by September. That's why, as expensive as they are, I usually just give my preseason tickets away, or eat them."

First of all, as a snack, those tickets are not very filling. Secondly, I don't care.

"But as a season ticket holder, I think it's just ridiculous to make me buy those games in order to keep my season package."

And yet, you do.

Every aspect of the NFL has been covered ad nauseum by the media, and only a fool or an Amish go-go dancer could claim that they weren't aware that the NFL is a big business.

When a player is cut, "it's just business." When a team moves, "it's just business." When a free agent bolts for more zeroes and commas in the paycheck, "it's just business." When I accidentally pee on my shoe while waiting in line for the mustard, "it's just business."

But leaving it to the consumer to decide whether the price of two meaningless games is worth eight that matter is "unfair."

Wah, wah, wah, Chachi.

Let's go back to my original question. The one about NFL preseason ticket prices being too low? (Yeah, that was a long time ago, I know.)

Ladies and gentlemen, isn't it obvious that fans are not buying NFL preseason tickets to see the preseason games themselves, but to be included in their team's full season package? And if you agree that this is true, then couldn't it be argued that preseason tickets could be sold for more money than they currently are?

Do you think that if the price of tickets for the regular season stayed the same, but preseason tickets went up one dollar per game, most fans would give up their season tickets over the increase?

No, me neither.

But how about for two dollars? Or five dollars? Do you see what I'm saying?

The NFL is a business, neither caring nor cruel. If it finds a way to make more money, it will.

You don't need to enter a rehab clinic or get a prescription for Methadone if you decide you don't want to be a part of it anymore. If you don't want to get "ripped off" by the NFL's big-business practices, you already know what to do. Vote with your wallet.

Not your local newspaper's editorial section.