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Column: Paying it forward

Managing Editor

Published: Sunday, February 2, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 2, 2014 22:02

Last night one of America’s greatest standing traditions took place at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Super Bowl is as American as apple pie and Coca Cola.

It’s also a prime example of what’s wrong with the economics of professional sports in this country.

The average cost of a ticket to last night’s game was $2,000 for an $800 face value ticket. Its hard to imagine that anybody would go to the game by themselves, meaning a pair of tickets costs $4,000. I hope the fine folks on Wall Street enjoyed themselves, because the average American working a 40-hour week for a living can only watch on TV.

I’m not trying to pick on the NFL, or the Super Bowl for that matter. This is just another example of the high costs of professional sports. Every year, the common sports fan is pushed further back from the action on the field, court or ice.

On Saturday I made my second trip up to Boston for a Bruins game. I used to attend four or five games a year on average despite being a broke college student.

In 2011 the Bruins brought home the Stanley Cup, but since then it’s been tougher and tougher to attend games due to high-ticket costs. It all boils down to basic supply and demand. When teams are competitive and when they win, ticket costs go up.

This makes sense right?
After you pay for your ticket, you still need to account for overpriced concession stand food and drinks. You can’t bring your own food in and lets face it, you have to eat. Once again, the big business that professional sports have become has you right where they want you.

Not to mention this all comes after you paid to park your car to get to the stadium, arena or field. What used to be a $100-$150 family outing to a Red Sox, Bruins or Celtics game has now swelled to $200 or more.

I understand that professional sports are a business and if that business doesn’t make enough money they will shut down or relocate, but that’s an argument for another day.

Professional sports teams are becoming less fan friendly each year, if yet fans will still show up week in and week out to support their teams. I won’t stop going to games, because I find them entertaining and exciting. But like many Americans seeking the roar of the crowd, I may have to just settle for turning up the volume on my TV set.

Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerRMorrissey

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