Being a sports fan is hard (and expensive)

Published 8:34 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dollars and cents just don’t go as far as they used to, especially at sporting events.

Economic times are still tough on us common folk, no matter what the suits in Washington D.C. say. For the tried and true, red-white-and-blue sports fan, nothing is better than being in the stadium when your favorite team wins the big one.

But more and more fans are finding it fiscally impossible to get in the bleachers.

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The average NFL ticket cost about $82 in 2013. NBA seats went for about $91 a game, NASCAR races charge on average of $92.16 and seats for a UFC fight in 2013 topped well over $100 on average. Major college football games average in the triple digits as well.

Major League Baseball was better than most, charging about $25 a ticket.

A family of four has almost no chance of attending football or basketball games.

A parking pass ranges anywhere from $15-$45. You wallet is lighter before you even get your sunscreen on.

And if by some chance the average family was able to get through the turnstile, another financial dilemma awaits them inside.

Concession prices at most sporting events are astronomically inflated compared to store prices. A single 12-ounce beer at a MLB game costs around $6, while a 20-ounce soda will run you more than four bucks.

Souvenirs for the kids are almost out of the question.

The executives of pro sports teams across the country need to take a long, hard look at the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle isn’t the biggest market in the Majors, nor is it close to being the best team. But the M’s put butts in seats because of offering the fans more bang for their buck.

During Tuesday night’s win over the Braves, the stands down the third-base line were packed with fans.

“King” Felix Hernandez was pitching, and the Mariners came up with a creative way to get fans to the stadium and keep them in the game for the full distance.

Thirty bucks got you a game ticket, special King Felix T-shirt and a ‘K’ sign. The bright gold shirts looked good on TV, and the fans went wild after every one of Hernandez’s eight strikeouts.

Just think how much fun a game would be if the fans were part of the action from start to finish. The Mariners are one of the first to give fans more of an experience than just watching a game.

While dad may be mostly concerned with the X’s and O’s of the play, mom and the kids are more than likely in to having fun.

Why not give everyone what he or she wants?

Team owners; come off the ticket prices a little and more families will come. Give them more than just a ball game and they will come in droves, you can take that to the bank.

I’m sure you know how to get there.

Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and Alabama Sports Writers Association.