Yesterday we attended a National Football League game at Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game featured the host Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Washington Redskins. In an exciting finish, the Redskins defeated the Eagles, 27-20 to take a lead in their division. You can read about the game and see the highlights on NFL.com.
This post is more about the game experience for a family. The American sports stadium experience is much different than other countries. First of all, the tickets were extremely expensive. Our seats, as you can see, were very high up in the stadium near the end zone, cost $95 each. If you include parking ($30), food ($20 for 2 cokes, a hot dog, and small pizza) and gasoline (approx. $20), it was a $370 day. I would never pay that on a regular basis and if we had season tickets, that would be $3,700 for the year. I didn’t mind paying it for a one-time experience for the boys, but it is too much to ask for a season.
Why so high ticket prices? Well, the minimum salary for a rookie is almost $400,000 per year. I also think the cost of the stadium, which was partially publicly funded, also has to do with the cost. I don’t think the experience for me and my two children is worth $370. I would prefer to lesser level of football (player skills, stadium comfort, etc.) and a lower ticket price.
That being said, we really had a great time and it continued the boys’ interest in football. We’ve been playing everyday during the holidays, which is becoming a Christmas break tradition.
As I written before, attending a game is really an excuse to drink. I am not sure how many fans understand the game well or have played the game. Personally, football is the sport I enjoy watching the most. Despite an average of only 11 minutes of action per 3-hour game, it is the only sport (except Detroit Tiger baseball game, or Tour De France or Olympics) I can watch from start to finish.
Another aspect of going to the game is comparing it to staying at home and watching the game on television. With the hassles of lining up to get in, the cold, having limited access to other game highlights and statistics, the NFL should really consider the in-game experience. It is much more comfortable to stay home with the DirecTV Red Zone channel and watch all of the games.
I would like to thank my Uncle Jack for getting the tickets and taking us to the game. It was an experience we will not forget!