How to Improve Value of NFL Tickets
With attendance declining, the Jacksonville Jaguars are taking steps to try to attract fans who prefer lounging in their recliners and watching all the NFL action on a Sunday rather than making the trek to the stadium to catch only one game.
The Jaguars are considering showing the NFL RedZone channel on its new massive video-board for the 2014 season. It’s certainly a novel approach and a step in the right direction, especially considering the quality of product the Jaguars have been putting on the field in recent seasons.
But the comforts of home, with HD TV and cheaper refreshments, are still becoming harder and harder to beat. Traffic, expensive parking, uncomfortable hardback seats and $8 bottles of beer simply don’t measure up.
So what can be done to get fans back into stadiums?
How about legalizing sports betting and installing on-site sports books? The NFL has been a staunch opponent of expanding legal sports betting outside of Nevada and is currently locked in a legal battle with New Jersey, which is fighting to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting at the state’s horse tracks and casinos.
The NFL doesn’t seem to have a problem with the legal sports betting in the UK. The league added a second game this season at London’s Wembley Stadium and is considering adding more in the future. There are sports betting windows at Wembley Stadium, although the NFL shuts them down during their games. However, there are an abundance of sports books within walking distance of the stadium.
Another option to increase the value of NFL tickets could be extending the season and playing fewer games each Sunday. As the Jaguars are noticing, fans like to keep track of all the action for fantasy football purposes. If you added two or three weeks to the season and gave each team an additional bye, you could play only six games on a Sunday, staggering the kickoff times to where fans could attend a game and still get back to catch the bulk of the other action.
What will the live NFL experience look like in five years? Hard to tell, but one thing is certain — NFL attendance is declining. The comforts of home are just too much to pass up for fans. But there are ways the league could draw fans out of their recliners and back into the stadiums. Increasing the value of NFL tickets will be an important issue moving forward.