Cost of Football Tickets

Pro or Amateur, There’s Lots of Money in Pigskin

Cost of Football Tickets
September 9, 2016

If you plan to go to a NFL or major college game this year, stop by the bank for a significant withdrawal — and perhaps a loan application if you like premium seating. The NFL has never been more popular, while major college football received a boost from the demise of the BCS and the initial college playoff, so ticket prices can be sky-high.

Tickets may be available through box offices at face value, especially for college games, but for NFL games, the secondary market is usually the way to go. The NFL Ticket Exchange, StubHub, and other vendors have plenty of supply for almost any game.

The Seattle Seahawks tops the league with most expensive ticket. According to the 2016 TicketIQ State of the NFL Report, to see the Super Bowl XLVIII champions play at CenturyLink Field it will cost you $466 per ticket on the secondary market.

The New England Patriots will play in four of the ten most expensive games this season. A pair of tickets at the Gillette Stadium (because who goes to a football game alone?) is $1,674 for the Patriots matchup against the Bengals or $715 each against the Seattle Seahawks.

Other teams with high average ticket prices on the secondary market include the the New England Patriots at $461, the Denver Broncos at $454, and the Chicago Bears at $377.

What team is a bargain? The team with the cheapest tickets are the Jacksonville Jaguars. Average tickets for the EverBank Field are $141. The Jaguars join the Cleveland Browns ($145) and the Kansas City Chiefs as the only teams with average ticket prices under $150.

These prices are likely to rise as the season progresses, so get your tickets early.

For you college fans, the TiqIQ Top 25 keeps track of pricing for the 25 highest-priced college football teams. Far atop the list is the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, with an average ticket price of $332 as of this writing. The best current deal available is for $33 to watch the Irish crush the University of Nevada's Wolf Pack, while the cheapest price to see the special meeting between Notre Dame and Michigan State University is $194 per ticket.

Only two other schools have average ticket prices above $200. They are in the SEC, but it is probably not the schools you are thinking of. Georgia comes in second at $235 and Texas A&M is third with $201. Alabama is 11th at $164. The SEC claims nine of the top 25 expensive ticket spots, followed by the Big 12 with six, the Big Ten with four, the PAC-12 with three and the ACC with two.

If you are priced out of your preferred game, consider games with lesser opponents. Ticket prices for the most desirable game matchups skyrocket based on demand, but they also fall for horrible mismatches. If you just want to watch your favorite ranked college team in action and don't mind watching them beat up on Middle Southeastern Nowhere State College, tickets for that game will be quite reasonably priced. For NFL teams, if your favorite team is likely to be good, you may be out of luck, but for teams competing for the top draft pick late season bargains are usually available — especially in colder outdoor stadiums.

With some planning, you can find relatively inexpensive tickets to see your favorite team and enjoy the live football experience. Don’t forget to enjoy the tailgate experience as well. Have fun, and load up in the parking lot to avoid stadium concession prices. They are skyrocketing, too.


Photo ©iStock.com/Aksonov

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Erin | 09.17.15 @ 18:02
I actually prefer watching the games on TV...it's easier to see everything that is going on, and it's so much cheaper too.
Kamie | 09.17.15 @ 18:03
I understand game are better live than on TV.. But, I can not bring myself to pay for one ticket that costs half my rent, heck some cost more than my rent. For me, that is money being wasted.
Britt | 09.17.15 @ 18:05
I've never really been a football fan but wow!
Tina | 09.17.15 @ 18:07
I'm amazed with the tightening of the purse strings in most every other area (people downsizing houses, dropping cable, etc.) that sports venues are doing so well. These prices floor me!
Daniel Dohlstrom | 09.17.15 @ 18:08
I am not a big sports fan so I just can not see why it is worth the amount paid but hey fans are fans
Kailie | 09.17.15 @ 18:09
I love football and I go to a few games every year
Nancy | 09.17.15 @ 18:09
Wow! Well, someone has to pay for those high salaries. Add to that the fact that the NFL has fewer games per season than the other 2 major professional sports leagues and they have to make the money somewhere. Add the TV deals and I'm sure the owners are just scraping by. SMH.
Clarissa | 09.17.15 @ 18:11
I wouldn't mind so much to pay for the ticket it's the other little costs. If we have to pay so much for a ticket then I don't want to pay $20 for a drink and $50 for parking!
Kyle | 09.17.15 @ 18:12
I prefer watching from the comfort of my home.
Morgan | 09.17.15 @ 18:13
I bought my grandfather some niners tickets a few weeks ago. Well worth the price.
gracie | 09.17.15 @ 18:14
That is some serious love of watching a game! I am not a big sports fan so I can't quite appreciate that kind of love.
Alec | 09.17.15 @ 18:15
I never realized how expensive these tickets were! It makes me glad my fiancé doesn't like going to games. I'm amazed that even fans are willing to pay these prices though.
Elaine | 09.17.15 @ 18:16
I think I will pass. I would rather sit on my own couch and watch for free in comfort.
Steffanie | 09.17.15 @ 18:16
Going to a game is quite the experience, but those ticket prices are rough
Kathryn | 09.17.15 @ 18:19
I prefer to watch on tv, easier to watch and enjoy. Plus you can have friends over to enjoy the game!
Steven | 09.17.15 @ 18:24
Man cannot believe how much people pay to watch these.
Sarah | 09.17.15 @ 18:35
I am now even more amazed at my couple relatives that attend every home game for their fave teams... float me a couple hundred?
Carla Truett | 09.17.15 @ 18:41
I love football and went to a game once. I couldnt see enough to make it worth the price we paid for tickets. I would much rather watch on tv.
Jennifer Sears | 09.17.15 @ 18:49
The prices make me glad I'm not interested in seeing football in person.
Ron | 09.17.15 @ 18:50
I have been to a few college games and one pro game. Both types were overpriced with parking, concessions, and, yes, tickets. It wasn't worth it to go pay $258 for what I could enjoy more at home with.better food, my own bathroon, and the ability to pause the game if I desire.
Katie Greene | 09.17.15 @ 18:54
I don't get spending that much on tickets when you could watch it at home. Personally I'm not into football and neither is my husband, but unless you are front row, I think on TV you would get a better view of what is happening anyway
Irene | 09.17.15 @ 19:03
I;ve never been to see a game in person and at those crazy prices I probably never will.
Sara | 09.17.15 @ 19:04
I would never pay that much for tickets. It is amazing what people pay.
Christina | 09.17.15 @ 19:06
I have a friend who has season tickets so could get them at a bit of a discount, but it's still too high for me to buy two tickets. Just not a priority for me.
trish | 09.17.15 @ 19:08
Tickets are so expensive! I would love to go to more games, but unless we get a special deal, or get free tickets through work, we watch from the couch!
Angie | 09.17.15 @ 19:14
I've been to one pro game - the Tennessee Titans. My husband and I were fortunate that we were invited by someone who couldn't use their season tickets for that particular game. My husband is the super huge sports fan - me, I enjoyed watching the people in the stands!
Meredith L | 09.17.15 @ 19:22
The price of these tickets are outrageous. It's nearly impossible to bring your entire family out to a game. But I guess it's more important to pay players millions than make it affordable for the majority of fans to watch them. womp womp
Jane | 09.17.15 @ 19:37
I can't believe tickets are that expensive for good seats. It's more expensive than getting tickets to a concert. There goes any thought of getting my DH tickets for a birthday present!
Jo Ann | 09.17.15 @ 19:51
These prices are crazy, and I don't understand how the NFL manages to get tax-exempt status. It's definitely not a charity and they definitely don't play games for free so poor people can see them. Makes me wonder.
Christina | 09.17.15 @ 20:05
Wow!!! This must be how they make some of the money they are paid to play.
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