How NFL Season Ticket Prices Compare to the Premier League

EPL-vs-NFL

While many soccer fans in England and Wales complain that season ticket prices at Premier League clubs are ridiculously high, the prices seem like bargains when compared to how NFL teams in the United States are fleecing fans.

In a special report by World Soccer Talk, we’ve researched season ticket prices for NFL teams and have compared it against Premier League season ticket prices provided by SportingIntelligence. The differences are eyeopening.

First, here are the ticket prices in the Premier League for the 2014-15 season, which can be seen below.

Premier League Tix

As we can see, rather strangely, Manchester City, the current Premier League champions, have the lowest priced season ticket. Of course City’s wealth courtesy of Sheikh Mansour ensures there isn’t a great need to recoup significant revenue through ticket sales.

If you look to the other end of the scale with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side charging just over £1000 for their lowest priced season ticket, the difference is staggering. The general conception is the cost of living in London is much more expensive than in other areas of the country. This can be seen by house prices and is reflected, although not as significant as perhaps necessary in the average person’s working wage.

Therefore it is no surprise Arsenal’s cheapest tickets are the most expensive. However the difference of over £200 from the next most expensive cheapest ticket, which is at Arsenal’s fierce local rivals Tottenham Hotspur is quite interesting.

Arsenal’s business model since 2005 has been focused around financing the move to and construction of the Emirates Stadium as Jeremy Wilson from the Telegraph details here. One of the reasons for such high ticket prices has been to contribute to that cause, now with the stadium believed to have been almost, if not fully, paid for, it is a surprise to see Arsenal still charging such high prices.

It is interesting that there is only one Premier League team who have reduced the price of their lowest season ticket from last season, and that is Sunderland who have committed to a 6% decrease.

But how do expensive Premier League season ticket prices compare to the NFL? The differences are staggering.

First, some NFL teams, depending on where the seats are, require the purchase of a Permanent Seat License (PSL), the right to “own” a seat, which can run anywhere from $500 to $150,000. That cost doesn’t even include the price of buying a season ticket.

Second, most NFL teams have a waiting list for season tickets. So for most NFL teams, the application fee is $100 per person to be added to the waiting list in order to be notified when a season ticket becomes available. As one example, the waiting list is currently 5-10 years for the Seattle Seahawks football team. That’s nothing compared to the Green Bay Packers, where the waiting list is estimated to be as many as 955 years.

Having said that, there are waiting lists for many Premier League clubs too.

Third, while an average match ticket (not season ticket) for a Premier League game is £59 ($91), the average ticket for a NFL game is £52 ($84) (source), which seems quite competitive until you remember that season ticket holders in the Premier League get a minimum of 19 home league games (not including FA Cup matches, League Cup matches, friendlies and possible European competition) while season ticket holders at NFL teams get 8 league games (and some only get 7 games because of NFL games played in London, but exhibition games are sometimes included).

So let’s take a look at the 2014 prices for season tickets at NFL teams:

Arizona Cardinals — Cheapest season ticket: $250; Most expensive season ticket: $1,185 (source)

Atlanta Falcons — Cheapest season ticket: $385; Most expensive season ticket: $1,463 or more (source)

Baltimore Ravens — Cheapest season ticket: $620; Most expensive: $3,650 (source)

Buffalo Bills — Cheapest season ticket: $260; Most expensive season ticket: $2,470 (source)

Carolina Panthers — Cheapest season ticket: $420; Most expensive: $4,300 (source)

Chicago Bears — Cheapest season ticket: $810; Most expensive season ticket: $4,050 (source)

Cincinnati Bengals — Cheapest season ticket: $400; Most expensive season ticket: $2,700 (source)

Cleveland Browns — Cheapest season ticket: $190; Most expensive season ticket: $4,350 (source)

Dallas Cowboys — Price for an average premium seat per season is $3,400 (source); Prices for cheapest and most expensive season tickets are not publicly available

Denver Broncos — Cheapest season ticket: $480; Most expensive season ticket: $1,700 (source)

Detroit Lions — Cheapest season ticket: $380; Most expensive season ticket: $1,092 (source)

Green Bay Packers — Cheapest season ticket: $770 (approximately); Most expensive season ticket: $1,000; approximately (source)

Houston Texans — Cheapest season ticket: $660; Most expensive season ticket: in excess of $3,000 (source)

Indianpolis Colts — Cheapest season ticket: $400; Most expensive season ticket: $1,260 (source)

Jacksonville Jaguars — (Note, this is for a 9 game season this year); Cheapest season ticket: $171; Most expensive: $3,375 (source)

Kansas City Chiefs — Cheapest season ticket: $250; Most expensive season ticket: $1,350 (source)

Miami Dolphins — Cheapest season ticket: $420; Most expensive season ticket: $1,250 (source)

Minnesota Vikings — Cheapest season ticket: $350; Most expensive season ticket: $1,390 (source)

New England Patriots — Cheapest season ticket: $650; Most expensive season ticket: $1,950 (source)

New Orleans Saints — Cheapest season ticket: $350; Most expensive season ticket: $3,080 (source)

New York Giants — Cheapest season ticket: $850; Most expensive season ticket: $7,000 (source)

New York Jets — Cheapest season ticket: $500; Most expensive: $7,000 (source)

Oakland Raiders — (Note, this is for a 9 game season this year); Cheapest season ticket: $225; Most expensive: $1,350 (source)

Philadelphia Eagles — Cheapest season ticket: $700; Most expensive: $1,050 or more; although exact pricing is not available publicly

Pittsburgh Steelers — Cheapest season ticket: $770; Most expensive: $2,600; based on 2013 prices (source)

San Diego Chargers — Cheapest season ticket: $390; Most expensive: $2,650 (source)

San Francisco 49ers — Cheapest season ticket: $850; Most expensive: $2,000 (source)

Seattle Seahawks — Cheapest season ticket: $580; Most expensive season ticket: $4,050 (source)

St Louis Rams — Cheapest season ticket: $300; Most expensive season ticket: $1,750 (source)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Cheapest season ticket: $300; Most expensive season ticket: $3,950 (source)

Tennessee Titans — Cheapest season ticket: $360; Most expensive: $2,580 (source)

Washington Redskins — Cheapest season ticket: $340; Most expensive: $1,390 or more (source)

Based on the above information, the average price for the cheapest season tickets across NFL is $463 (not including the price for a PSL), while the average for most expensive season tickets (not including PSL) is $2,668.

The $2,668 number is in stark contrast to the Premier League’s highest average season ticket price of $1,361. And that’s based on 19 Premier League home games compared to 8 (or sometimes 7) home games in NFL.

If we take the 19 guaranteed home league matches for each Premier League club and compare that to the 10 not-guaranteed home games (including 2 preseason games) for each NFL club, the average price per game based on season ticket prices is as follows:

Cheapest season ticket prices (averaged on a per-league game basis):

Premier League: $27 per game
NFL: $46 per game

Most expensive season ticket prices (averaged on a per-league game basis):

Premier League: $73 per game
NFL: $266 per game

Remember that not all season tickets are equal. For example, some season tickets to Premier League clubs will include friendlies, cup games and European competition with them, others don’t. Vice-versa, some season ticket packages for NFL teams will include exhibition games too.

As a side note, NFL teams don’t make it easy to find season ticket pricing. Oftentimes, team websites force website visitors into either calling or completing an application in order to find out pricing details. It took us several days of research, phone calls and patience to compile the season ticket information above for NFL teams. And even then, we were unable to obtain season ticket pricing for a few high-profile NFL teams.

While tickets to Premier League matches in England have increased at a steady pace, they seem like a relative bargain compared to how expensive seats are in the NFL. And that doesn’t take into consideration the cost of Permanent Seat Licenses. Based on the above data, we wouldn’t be surprised if Premier League ticket prices continue to skyrocket year over year.

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