The issue of supporters being ripped off is a growing one throughout the world of sport. Most recently, we have seen protests at a number of Premier League soccer matches as ticket prices continue to rise disproportionately to inflation. English soccer supporters are not alone in their plight though. The cost of American football, basketball, hockey, cricket and even rugby union tickets feature on this list alongside soccer in terms of teams ripping off their fans.
The most notable thing about this list, I believe, is the fact that most of the teams on this list, barring a select few, still manage to fill their stadiums/arenas, or are at least running at close to maximum capacity. Whilst this is the case, it is surely no surprise that ticket prices are either being frozen or continuing to rise. If most of these teams lowered their ticket prices, they would simply be losing money.
A number of factors have been accounted for in creating this list. Both the ticket prices themselves as well as virtual necessities which are regularly purchased at sports stadiums, such as beer, soda, food and parking. To break down the list, as previously mentioned, six sports feature on the list, from seven different leagues, these are; the Premier League, Serie A, NFL, NHL, NBA, Aviva Premiership and international cricket. Another important factor in this list will be what the teams give back to their fans (success, championships, etc...)
Here are the top 15 sports teams that rip off their fans.
15 15. Los Angeles Lakers
14 14. Chelsea F.C.
13 13. Northampton Saints
12 12. Vancouver Canucks
11 11. Chesterfield F.C.
10 10. England Cricket Team
9 9. Seattle Seahawks
8 8. A.C. Milan
7 7. New York Knicks
6 6. Tottenham Hotspur
5 5. Chicago Bears
4 4. Arsenal F.C.
3 3. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are testimony to the sheer value of LeBron James. One of the greatest NBA players of all time, 'King James' left the Miami Heat and returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in June 2014, and tickets to see the Cavs have skyrocketed ever since. In terms of the TFC, the fact that the beer, soda, hot dogs and parking at the Quicken Loans are some of the cheapest in the NBA, does little to ease their exorbitant ticket prices. According to their TFC statistics, taking a family of four to see LeBron and the Cavs in action will cost you over $1,500.
Prior to the King's return, the Cavs were among the lowest TFC in the league at $222.67. Of course, it is not just down to the signing of James, as the Cavs also recruited the Timberwolves star man Kevin Love in 2014. With the trio of James, Love and Irving, the team is a treat to watch, but are they worth more than the average two weeks wage in the U.S. to watch? Apparently, 20,562 people think so, as the Cavs are running at 99.2% capacity in 2015 and having no trouble selling tickets.
2 2. Toronto Maple Leafs
1 1. Dallas Cowboys
Football is of course immensely popular in Texas, almost like religion, and in the Lone Star State the Cowboys reign supreme. Having joined the NFL in 1960, they became a dynasty in the early 1990s, but are no longer the dominant franchise of that era, although they do remain highly competitive. Playing their home games at the enormous 80,000 seater AT&T stadium, the Cowboys are the most valuable NFL and the most valuable non-soccer team in the world, worth over $3 billion.
While a single ticket to see the Cowboys, priced at $110 does not seem that much greater than a number of other NFL tickets, when you factor in the other costs of watching a game at the AT&T stadium, the difference becomes more clear. Both the TFC (Total Family Cost) and FCI (Fan Cost Index) rank the Cowboys as the most expensive day out in the NFL. According to the TFC, it would cost $635 for a family of four to witness the Cowboys in action plus food, drink and parking. It might be about time for the Cowboys to reward their fans with a Super Bowl win.
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