Steve Bisciotti isn’t the only one who will have to pay more money to watch Joe Flacco play in Baltimore next season and beyond – season ticket holders will be doing the same.
As reported earlier today by the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens will be increasing their ticket prices by an average of 10%. The increase marks the first time the Ravens have raised ticket prices since the start of the 2009 season.
“We are thoughtful and detailed in our study of our ticket prices,” senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said. “We did a lot of research plus comparisons to other NFL teams, other events, and also most importantly, our budget.”
The increase of ticket prices doesn’t have a direct correlation with winning a Super Bowl. Most recently, after winning Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants didn’t raise their season ticket prices. However, they had just recently increased prices due to an increase as they moved to a state-of-the-art Metlife Stadium which had a $1.6 billion price tag with portions split between their stadium roommates, the New York Jets.
Ten NFL franchises raised their price of admission in 2012 and the Ravens had planned on joining them last season according to Byrne.
“This is not related to the Super Bowl,” he said. “It has been planned. It was planned last year when we didn’t increase when we throught we would.”
So far, the Ravens have joined six other clubs (Packers, Bills, Bears, Eagles, Redskins and Jaguars) in raising ticket prices whereas the Bengals and Chargers have decreased the cost of their tickets to help lure more fans into the stadium and avoid blackout restrictions for local television broadcasts.
As ProFootballTalk pointed out, the Ravens are now within the NFL’s top third of season ticket costs and Baltimore is only the 27th-largest TV market in the country.
TV contracts provide the largest amount of income for NFL franchises, but they must be careful to balance the demand of attending a game with a justifiable ticket cost. With increased technology and more access than ever, many fans are choosing to watch games from the comforts of their couches in a close proximity to their refrigerator versus paying $100 per ticket to sit in a plastic chair and drink $8 beers.
Until fans voice their displeasure by not attending the games, prices will continue to skyrocket.
Personally, the seats I sat in used to cost $45 back in 2005. Through increases, those tickets have now been increased 10% over the $90 per game I paid to sit in them last season. The best thing the NFL could do is at least give fans a break from charging regular season prices for preseason games. Why should fans have to pay the same amount to watch players who will likely be bagging your groceries or sitting next to you in a cubicle in the office come September as we would pay to see Ray Lewis versus Peyton Manning during the regular season?
The seats may be empty during the preseason but the bottom line is that someone is paying for those seats regardless of whether someone is sitting in them or not. Until they don’t, owners and the NFL will laugh all the way to the bank.