How Much??!!
The Real Cost For An NFL Fan


The Real Costs for an NFL Football Fan...
Do you know how much it really costs to be an NFL fan?

If you’re not familiar, the Fan Cost Index (FCI) is one such way to measure game day expenses.

It calculates what a family of 4 would spend on a single game by totaling the costs of 4 average-price tickets, 2 beers, 4 soft drinks, 4 hot dogs, 2 caps, and a parking pass.

But for the vast majority of fans, the FCI, as a gauge for the total and actual costs, is useless.

For one thing, it neglects other game day expenditures like tailgating.


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But since it wasn’t designed for that, and there are many variables with tailgating, we’ll give it a pass.

Ah, but what about what it is designed for, like NFL ticket prices? Let’s see… it uses face value cost, which only applies to a select few, such as season-ticket holders and those at the right place/right time.



The rest of us - the average NFL football fans - are relegated to paying secondary market rates for tickets and parking, which are mostly much, much higher than face value.

So if you substitute resale prices for face value, the FCI for the 2015 season (why am I using data for 2015?*) goes from a manageable $481 to a very unmanageable $900. This, my friends, is the real cost index.



*Costs, and cost of living, vary by region. To measure the true impact of a fan’s expenses, I refer you to the real cost ratio which is simply real cost index ÷ monthly income. Median household income figures for the 31 NFL cities are derived from deptofnumbers.com/income, whose latest data is for 2015.


The average NFL fan’s dilemma

You just got your last paycheck for the month, and now you have to decide if you want to pay the rent or go to a football game.

While that doesn’t really happen (does it?), consider that:

  • Most people allocate 25-30% of gross monthly income towards the rent. In 2015, the second-highest real cost ratio was 31.7% of a month’s pay.
  • Sports, while not a necessity per se, is a way of life for many people and as such, figures heavily into cost of living decisions.

But not many people can afford to pay the equivalent of an extra month’s rent, even if it is just a few times a year.

The good news is, you don’t have to choose between necessities and NFL football. By deciding when & where you buy your NFL tickets, as well as taking advantage of the available options in and around NFL stadiums, you can be a fan’s fan and still have enough money for rent and groceries.

Will you always have a premium, VIP experience? No… do you fly first-class all of the time?

Will you have lots of fun and save some cash? You bet you’re a**.


The bottom line

You didn’t choose to become an NFL fan, it’s just the way it is… it’s a way of life.

Don’t be victimized by high prices.

Don’t become a “spectator sport spectator”.

You can start by familiarizing yourself with what it really costs to be a fan of your team. Just as a $50K salary is quite different in Arkansas than it is in Maryland, there is a world of difference between a Seahawks fan living in Seattle and a Kansas City resident rooting for the Chiefs.

Click on the link to your team to see how your real cost index and real cost ratio compares.



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