No. I am not in trouble with the police. This is just a minirant incoming.
So I've been watching TV lately on ESPN and NFL Network in the morning of the start of the NFL Playoffs. And all over the television coverage, you are seeing a lot of gloom and doom reporting about the future of the NFL. "Oh my goodness! It took corporate sponsors this morning to buy the rest of the tickets so that these NFL games could sell out! What does this say about the future of the league? What is going to h-"
Ok. Shut up with your stupidity for now. Let's go on Stubhub and see what the problem is.
Almost a hundred dollars for a nosebleed section seat for the honor of what may, potentially, be the coldest game in decades. Now. I want you to focus on one point in particular. And be warned, you are about to be assaulted by a strong dose of the terrible medicine known as common sense. Resistance is futile.
Sixty five dollars....for the honor of sitting in the Lambeau Parking lot.
WHY? Why would I ever spend sixty five dollars to sit in a parking lot? Why? Minimum wage is 7.75 an hour. I can go buy a Bobcats ticket for 6.45$ and you're telling me I have to cough up over 65$ and I can't even be allowed into the stadium? For a full-time student with a side job making minimum wage, it'll take them a full 8 hour day just to get into the parking lot. How can you even come close to justifying these outrageous prices?
I keep hearing these stupid arguments on the television screen about "Oh! We've got to improve the stadium experience so that people feel more compelled to come see the game." Here's an idea: Stop building outdoor stadiums where you're going to be playing games in the wintertime. It's too damn cold. The only reason that people come to those games is because football is such a beloved sport in America that they are willing to put up with the wintery conditions to support their team. And how do you repay them?
You jack up ticket prices year after year. You allow botting software to run rampant on the Ticketmaster so that evil Skynet robots buy the tickets and resell them to us fleshy creatures with inflated prices. You charge us 20$ for a beer and 12$ for a chili dog. And all throughout the process, you smirk wildly to us because you know we'll buy it. And you know why?
Because we're suckers. We're addicted to this game. We're willing to risk our own health to sit in the winter cold because we love this game and we love watching it live and in person. And we're willing to throw a lot of money at people to do it because the NFL is our only opportunity to do it.
But the time is quickly coming where it has to come to an end. The NFL has to realize, as an organization, that they cannot keep this gravy train going without suffering the consequences. Ticket prices are gradually approaching the price where the common man can't afford it and NFL stadiums will feel attendance dry up once it reaches this peak. The path to success is clear and it's remarkable for its simplicity.
Make things cheaper and stop punishing your potential customers.
End the NFL Blackout policy. Among all four of the major sports in America: The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, the NFL is the only league that punishes local fans for failing to sell out a game locally by refusing to broadcast the game. Not only is this rule dumb and ignores the problem why they didn't sell out the stadium in the first place, it treats local fans like mere peasants who had given enough support to their local feudal lord. How do you expect to make future fans if people can't turn on the TV and watch their local games? They're just going to change the channel and watch something else.
Long term, this policy is going to hurt the league. The league was always built upon appealing to the Average Joe and if the league didn't have such a long history with its fans and therefore their staying power in the community, the league would be laughed out of existence just by this policy alone. The only reason that losing teams are not hit with this rule regularly is because teams make such mad profits that they can afford to buy out the rest of the seats which fans can't afford to buy. Which brings me to point #2.
Lower prices across the board. I'm talking food prices. I'm talking parking prices. You should set a limit locally of how much secondary parking should be allowed to charge people for the honor of parking in their parking lot. Every where you hit prices with a cut, you're improving things. People keep track about where their money goes. If the 70$ nosebleed tickets suddenly became 35$ and all of the food prices in the stadium was cut in half from their current theme park levels, you would have no problem selling out every single game. That's not any brilliant move from Sun Tzu, that's just simple economics.
Most importantly on this front, we've got to move away from selling the vast majority of the tickets online. It has become a common theme for scalpers to develop ticket bots that automatically buy up every single ticket from Ticketmaster within five minutes of them going out for sale. These armies of bots constantly scan the site with a hive-mind, borg-like mentality and they buy up all of the tickets before the conman man like you and me have a prayer. These tickets are then being sold outside the tickets for hundreds of dollars and at the end of the day, you just have unnecessary empty seats without fans that are produced as a result.
So we have to flip the current trend on its head. Let's return to the days where we all wait in a big line outside of a ticket office and buy tickets for a good price. Set a limit for the tickets each person can buy and make sure the price is affordable for the average guy and you can't lose. And sell the majority of your tickets this way. You're telling me that the same fans that are willing to watch a game in -35F* temperature aren't going to wait in a line for an hour to buy tickets for a game? Please child. Who do you think you're talking to?
At the end of the day despite its problems, NFL remains the overwhelming favorite sport of fans everywhere. But I as a fan would like to see this remain long term. I don't want to see an NFL where the average man can't afford to go to the game and teams sustain themselves simply by the money they receive from television stations, playing in an empty stadium watched by millions behind television sets whereas the players would better appreciate them watching their team in person.
And personally, coming from an Average Joe view myself, I would like to go see their games more too.
That is all for now. Dismissed.