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Personal Finance
Fans hit with price hikes
September 5, 2001: 2:07 p.m. ET

NFL ticket prices up nearly 9 percent; family of four will pay average of $303.33
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Football teams will be tackling a family of four for an average of more than $300 a game this season, according to a survey of ticket and concession prices.

The annual survey by Team Marketing Report says that the average cost of tickets and concessions will be $303.33 when the regular season kicks off this Sunday. That's up 8.4 percent from last season, and puts the NFL at least temporarily as the highest priced sport, although the survey hasn't been completed for the National Basketball Association, which was the highest-priced league last season.

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Average ticket prices for the new Invesco Field in Denver will be nearly two-thirds more than the prices paid last year at Mile High Stadium there.
The average ticket price in the league, not including luxury boxes, is $53.64, up 8.7 percent.

A spokesman for the NFL did not return calls seeking comments on the price survey.

The big jump in ticket prices comes at the league's two newest stadiums.

At Denver's Invesco Field, Broncos fans will be paying an average $77.41 a ticket. That's the second-highest average price in the league and represents an increase of 66.8 percent over the average price at Mile High Stadium last year. At Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, fans will pay an average of $62.03, up 52.2 percent over the average ticket price at Three Rivers Stadium last year.

The top ticket price continues to be for the Washington Redskins, even though the team left ticket prices unchanged this year. The average price for a seat at FedEx Field is $81.89.

There were nine other teams that saw no increase in average ticket prices, and two teams the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons that saw a decrease in average ticket prices. But Kurt Hunzeker, editor of Team Marketing Report, said those decreases are due to a change in configuration of seating at the stadiums, not a decrease in ticket prices. The Cardinals even increased ticket prices, but lost some of its higher-priced seats.

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The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens raised prices 17.3 percent, but that put the average price of a ticket there at $50.14, or just below the league average. The team they defeated, the New York Giants, hiked prices 21.7 percent to an average cost of $55.88.

Team Marketing Report's Fan Cost Index includes the average price of four tickets, coupled with two beers, four soft drinks, four regular-sized hot dogs, two programs, two of the least expensive caps and parking for one vehicle.

Hunzeker said that concession prices aren't significantly higher than last year.

"You're seeing $6 beers more this year," he said. He said last year only the Redskins charged that much. This year the Titans, Giants, Jets, and Rams are also charging $6, although most of those teams charged at least $5.50 a beer last year.

Hunzeker said that despite the high average price, there are still many seats in the relatively affordable $25-to-$30 range. And there are even a handful of bargains to be found around the league. The Detroit Lions have 400 tickets going for only $1 each, while there are 325 seats at the expansion Cleveland Browns games that go for only $9. graphic

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