Even with the NFL swimming in cash amidst countless PR issues, the challenge of filling stadiums remains a challenging concern in some markets. Local TV blackouts and large swaths of unoccupied seats stand as the embarrassing proof of the attendance problems that plague some of the league's home stadiums. Winning always helps, but firm solutions tend to be elusive, especially when the live football experience can be so uncomfortable while the television product has grown so strong.
Realistically, though, football fans are willing to put up with the inconveniences of large lines, hard metal bleacher seats and less than stellar sight lines to be where the action and the atmosphere is. The main thing keeping fans from games is the same as it always was: cost. NFL ticket prices are higher than most MLB markets and present more seats to fill than any NBA or NHL arena. And then you get inside the venue...
Suggesting that all NFL stadiums are prohibitively expensive is a rather broad stroke, mind you. Most still are, to be sure, but at least some homes have at least attempted to curry favour through cost-conscious adjustments. Atlanta's new-fangled Mercedes-Benz Stadium generated headlines ahead of its 2017 opening for a surprisingly fan-friendly pricing structure. To best highlight the respective cost challenges that face fans of every NFL team, we've broken each stadium down by what a $100 bill can get you in each venue.
*Note: All ticket estimates reflect the best available information I could find on current prices. If no ticket price is listed, it means you can't get a ticket from the box office for the upcoming season for under $100.
32 Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)
Ticket: $38 - Parking: $27 - 2 Beverages: $15 - 2 Hot Dogs: $11.50 - Soft Drink: $4.50 = Total: $96
While some socially conscious groups may not be thrilled with the culture that surrounds the Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium, it's hard to argue that it isn't one of the league's most energetic and raucous environments. That atmosphere is aided by how fundamentally affordable a game experience in KC is. Add to that a winning product on the field in recent memory, and it makes Arrowhead a prime destination, even on a budget.
31 AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)
Ticket: $50 - Parking: $30 - Popcorn: $10 - Beverage: $9 = Total: $99
It is no wonder that Jerry Jones' epic AT&T Stadium ranks among the costlier of in-game stadium experiences. Heck, someone has to pay for the giant video board that once held the Guinness world record for largest video screen. Indeed, the home of the Dallas Cowboys widely known as 'Jerry World' is a must-see spectacle, but just don't expect the experience to be cheap. Especially with the Cowboys being in a playoff season.
30 Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)
Ticket: $45 - Parking: $35 - 2 Beverages: $10 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10 = Total: $100
While they've struggled to build a consistent winner around Can Newton, the Carolina Panthers organization has done well to create an affordable, fan-friendly environment at their Bank of America Stadium. You read the above breakdown right - you can get a drink for the same $5 cost of a hot dog, which is believed to be the cheapest price for an adult beverage in the league. New ownership is definitely aiming to please.
29 Broncos Stadium at Mile High (Denver Broncos)
Parking: $30 - 2 Burgers: $20 - 2 Beverages: $14 - 2 Denver Chili Cheese Dogs: $12 - 10 Chicken Wings: $12 - 2 Soft Drinks: $9 = Total: $97
Even if you can afford the hefty cost of a ticket to a Denver Broncos game (tickets start above $100, which is why they aren't included here), good luck getting your hands on them. Tickets to see the Mile High club at home tend to go lightning fast, owing to a consistent track record of success. The organization deserves some credit for implementing half-priced ticket offers for those who register with Ticketmaster as a means of eliminating ticket scalping, but good luck getting your hands on those limited seats.
28 CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks)
Ticket: $68 - Parking: $28 - Hot Dog: $4 = Total: $100
You don't visit a stadium nicknamed the 'Clink' and anticipate and cozy, relaxed football-viewing experience. For all of the amenities of Seattle's CenturyLink Field, the building's primary identity stems from the noise generated by the club's much-celebrated '12th man', the fans. Unfortunately, the Seahawks don't seem to show their 12th man nearly as much love in return. An impressive sellout streak emboldened the late team owner Paul Allen and management to bump costs with the knowledge that the demand would still be there.
27 FedEx Field (Washington Redskins)
Ticket: $85 - Beverage: $9 - Hot Dog: $6 = Total: $100
To those who know the reputation of much-derided Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, it comes as little surprise that FedEx Field, home of the unpopularly-named 'Skins, doesn't shy away from cash-grabbing. For a club with exactly one playoff win this millennium, the stadium still manages to boast one of the league's most expensive tickets, overpriced food fare and few viable parking options. Washington fans must feel like they're getting ripped off at a certain point.
26 FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland Browns)
Ticket: $36 - Parking: $25 - 2 Hot Dogs: $12 - 2 Beverages: $10 - Vanilla Bean Apple Pie - Bacon Shake: $7 - Dawg Pound Tots: $6.50 = Total: $96.50
For continuing to subject themselves to the perennial agony that is the haphazard Cleveland Browns, you might think that members of the 'Dawg Pound' would merit some kind of medal of valor. All snark aside, FirstEnergy Stadium is actually considerably affordable by NFL standards. Management made the understandable-but-still-rare decision to cut ticket prices prior to last season, which supported some already-cheap refreshment costs inside the stadium.
25 Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
Ticket: $50 - Parking: $30 - 2 Hot Dogs: $12.50 - Beverage: $7.50 = Total: $100
Believe it or not, Ford Field has now been around for 16 years. Fans of a certain age will remember it as the refreshingly modern heir apparent to the old Pontiac Silverdome. But the charm of a spectacular new home only lasts so long, particularly if you're as lousy a team as the Detroit Lions have been. Furthermore, pricing still seems to operate as though the building is brand new.
24 Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots)
Parking: $40 - Ballcap: $30 - 2 Beverages: $18 - 2 Hot Dogs: $7.50 = Total: $95.50
It pays to be a winner. That much is evident through the cost of catching Tom Brady and the dynastic New England Patriots at their Gillette Stadium home. For those a) fortunate enough to have access to a ticket to a Pats home game and b) determined enough to brave the painful trek out to Foxboro on game day, it's gonna cost ya - not that their fan base is complaining, mind you.
23 Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins)
Ticket: $40 - Parking: $30 - 2 Beverages: $15.50 - 2 Hot Dogs: $12 = Total: $97.50
Pro Player Stadium, Joe Robbie Stadium, Landshark Stadium. The name of the Miami Dolphins' home stadium seems to be in a constant state of flux, having changed an incredible eight times since 1996. What has been fairly consistent, however, is a dull atmosphere and disappointing attendance figures. In a town that has demonstrated reluctance to support a non-winner, it doesn't help that the post-Dan Marino Fins have struggled to make headway in an AFC East division dominated by the Pats.
22 Heinz Field (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Ticket: $95 (standing room only ticket) = Total: $95
You can get into Heinz Field to see the Pittsburgh Steelers for under $100 - just barely. According to Ticketmaster, standing room tickets in the upper reaches of the stadium are currently going for $95. On the plus side, the iconic franchise is almost always competitive and Heinz offers few bad views of the field. When you think about it, given the Steelers' rabid fan base, most seats quickly become standing room only locations on game day.
21 Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers)
Parking: $40 - Cheesehead: $25 - 2 Beverages: $15.50 - 2 Hot Dogs: $12.00 - Soft Drink: $4.75 = Total: $97.25
If you operate on the assumption that a franchise owned by its own fans might boast a fan-friendly price structure, then you probably haven't been to Lambeau Field. In truth, the 360,000 'shareholders' that can rightfully claim to own a piece of the Green Bay Packers are entitled to neither stock profits nor meaningful input on how things are run. So yeah, Lambeau is just as costly and profit-oriented as any of the other 31 stadiums run by more corporate ownership.
20 Levi's Stadium (San Francisco 49ers)
Ticket: $85 - Beverage: $10 = Total: $95
San Francisco is a notoriously costly city, so it's only logical that attending a Niners game would be a pricey endeavour. Now, that already-expensive experience is compounded by inflation tied to the club's fancy new digs at Levi's Stadium. Obviously with the move to a state of the art stadium, prices were bound to go up. And if the Jimmy Garoppolo era goes as 49ers fans are hoping, those prices might only be going up.
19 Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles)
Parking: $40 - Super Bowl Champions Ballcap: $40 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10 - Beverage: $8.50 = Total: $98.50
It's good to be the champs, especially in football-mad Philadelphia. For a chance to catch the Super Bowl champion Eagles in person this 2018 season, good luck getting into Lincoln Financial Field for under $100. A Super Bowl trophy tends to give its winner a license to essentially print money, so don't fall victim to sticker shock when you see merchandise starting at around $40 this season.
18 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles Rams)
Parking: $50 - Ticket: $40 - Beverage: $10 = Total: $100
Los Angeles Rams fans might be here for a good time, but they certainly aren't here for a long time. Their current Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home, which first opened all the way back in 1923, will only remain so until the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park opens in 2020. Just don't expect too many discounts while navigating the temporary digs, not while the building plays host to one of the league's premier dynamic, exciting, young teams.
17 Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts)
Ticket: $40 - Parking: $25 - 2 Beverages: $15 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10.50 - Popcorn: $4.75 - Ice Cream: $4 =Total: $99.25
That surprisingly long laundry list of items that come in under a $100 budget at Lucas Oil Stadium should make one thing clear: attending an Indianapolis Colts game is refreshingly affordable. From tickets to parking to beverages to food, it seems that every facet of the gem in downtown Indy comes in under the average NFL price point. We'll see if that remains the case should Andrew Luck get healthy and return the Colts to playoff contention.
16 M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens)
Ticket: $60 - 2 Beverages: $10 - 2 Hot Dogs: $6 - 2 Fries: $6 - 2 Popcorns: $6 - 2 Pretzels: $6 - 2 Bags of Peanuts: $6 = Total: $100
Good news, Ravens fans. Although some price gouging from the private lots that surround Baltimore's MT&T Bank Stadium can make parking an ordeal, things get considerably more wallet-friendly once you walk through the gates. Following the lead of the Atlanta Falcons, the Ravens introduced some dramatic price reductions on stadium eats for the upcoming season, which they have termed "Flock Friendly Fare".
15 Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons)
Ticket: $87 - 2 Beverages: $10 - Hot Dog: $2 = Total: $99
Speaking of those fellow predatory birds, the Atlanta Falcons and owner Arthur Blank seem to have drawn up the new blueprint in how to build momentum off the opening of a new stadium. No, the Falcons weren't quite able to duplicate their success from one year prior and return to the Super Bowl in their first season in the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, the club made the unique decision to reverse popular course, offering "street pricing" on stadium fare rather than marking it up to exploit fans curious to explore the new digs. The decision has inspired much praise for Blank and company and now seems to be drawing copycats.
14 Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans Saints)
Ticket: $40 - Parking: $30 - 2 Beverages: $18 - 2 Hot Dogs: $11 = Total: $99
Even with Drew Brees still under center guiding a high octane offense, these New Orleans Saints remain just a shade off of their Super Bowl-winning peak back in 2009. Perhaps that's why prices at the SuperDome are, well, pretty reasonable these days. Unlike a decade ago, seeing a Saints game isn't among the NFL's costliest live experiences. It's not cheap, mind you, but it's roughly in line with the league average across the board.
13 MetLife Stadium (New York Giants)
Tickets: $90 - 2 Beverages: $10 = Total: $100
It appears that an embarrassing 2017 season that featured Ben McAdoo's utter incompetence as head coach and the classless benching of Eli Manning did little to prompt pricing changes for fans of the New York Giants. While the organization should be commended for its continued commitment to $5 beverages, everything else is decidedly NYC in cost. The Giants have some good pieces for a bright future, but nonetheless, 2018 was another non-playoff year.
12 MetLife Stadium (New York Jets)
Tickets: $50 - Parking: $35 - Hot Dog: $6 - Beverage: $5 = Total: $96
While the New York Giants have kept prices high even amidst five of six playoffs-less seasons, their equally lousy MetLife Stadium co-tenants seem to at least be offering a more affordable product. The New York Jets share their NFC counterpart's dedication to cheap refreshments, but raise the stakes with a considerably cheaper average ticket cost. If Sam Darnold can make good on his potential and lead the Jets to the promise land, don't expect those discount prices to continue.
11 New Era Field (Buffalo Bills)
Ticket: $75 - 2 Beverages: $18 - Hot Dog: $5.50 = Total: $98.50
Making our way to a third crappy New York State-based franchise, the Buffalo Bills can count themselves lucky for having a loyal and rabid fan base that has supported them through some lean years at
Ralph Wilson Stadium New Era Field. Maintaining the spirit of how the team was run under the late Ralph Wilson and during its Jim Kelly-led heyday, a Bills experience remains largely blue collar, with simplified stadium fare (although the famed 'Beef on Weck' is worth a try) and league average pricing, a sign of knowing a fan base that mostly prefers to tailgate anyway.
10 Nissan Stadium (Tennessee Titans)
Ticket: $50 - Parking: $50 = Total: $100
Let's give credit where credit is due - by NFL standards, the Tennessee Titans have done well to offer their fans a relatively reasonable and affordable game experience. The 'private businesses' that operate around Nashville's Nissan Stadium, however, don't seem to be much for fan-friendly deals. As you can see above, you're liable to spend as much on parking as you are on a ticket should you opt to park near the stadium. Locals will advise you to either take a game day shuttle or park on the other side of the Cumberland River and walk across the bridge.
9 NRG Stadium (Houston Texans)
Ticket: $45 - Parking: $25 - 2 Hot Dogs: $11.50 - 2 Beverages: $10 - Soft Drink: $5 = Total: $96.50
Before the Atlanta Falcons set the tone across the NFL for fan-friendly concessions savings, the Houston Texans and owner Robert McNair set forth an inspired plan at what is now known as NRG Stadium. With concessions sales low amidst widespread tailgating among Texans' fans, the club put a two-pronged approach into motion. They introduced an assortment of new available culinary options, all the while reducing the cost of more basic stadium fare.
8 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland Raiders)
Ticket: $50 - Parking: $40 - Hot Dog: $6.75 = Total: $96.75
I wish I had something positive to offer to the Oakland-based fans of the black and silver - those who remain faithful to the Raiders, anyway. Any excitement the team may have had for their final few years in Oakland was taken away when the Raiders traded franchise cornerstones Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. The Raiders essentially have no hope in remaining competitive until their 2020 move to Las Vegas.
Those in Oakland who wish to keep supporting the team aren't in for any special gratitude. The Coliseum also may not serve as the Raiders' home in 2019 before they make their move, which makes the experience all the more sour for the team's remaining years in the Bay Area.
7 Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals)
Ticket: $45 - Parking: $30 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10.50 - 2 Beverages: $10 = Total: $95.50
For all the problems with the Cincinnati Bengals as a franchise, their stadium has been praised by architecture firms for its design and the way it overlooks the river. However, as far as the Bengals' product on the field, they've provided a lot of mediocre football with no playoff wins in nearly 30 years. The team hasn't shown much commitment to winning, but rather sticking with what's familiar.
6 Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Ticket: $40 - Parking: $20 - 2 Beverages: $15.50 - 2 Popcorns: $12.00 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10.50 = Total: $98.00
Sports fans in Tampa Bay have had it pretty good for a long time. The MLB's Rays and the NHL's Lightning both offer affordable, family-friendly live game experiences, albeit with sparse attendance in the case of the Rays. And so it's no wonder that fans grew angry soon after the 2017 season upon hearing that the Buccaneers were set to raise prices of individual and season's tickets following a 5-11 season that saw the club finish last in the NFC South (not to mention, their 2018 season).
To be fair, though, tickets to see a game at Raymond James Stadium were already among the league's cheapest and will remain so. All told, seeing the Bucs play won't cost an arm or a leg.
5 Soldier Field (Chicago Bears)
Ticket: $95 - Hot Dog: $5 = Total: $100
The Chicago Bears finally took a huge step forward this season, after missing the playoffs for seven straight seasons, but you wouldn't know it by their ticket prices. A report last summer ranked the Bears as the NFL's ninth-highest ticket price and second-highest cost per victory. While that probably has something to do with the allure of legendary Soldier Field, not to mention the storied nature of Da Bears, it still seems pretty steep when you consider the product they were offering on the field prior to this season. With their NFC North title, expect their prices to jump even more next season.
4 State Farm Stadium (Arizona Cardinals)
Ticket: $45 - Parking: $30 - 2 Beverages: $14.50 - 2 Hot Dogs: $8 = Total: $97.50
Coming into this season, the Cardinals were actually fielding quite a competitive team for the past five years, as Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians were both key pieces in bringing some stability to the franchise A 2017 report by the financial website Cheapism identified the Cards' State Farm Stadium as being smack dab in the middle when it comes to prices at the concession stands. Likewise, the cost of tickets and parking, all of which is controlled by the university that the stadium rests on, falls right in line with most other stadiums. We'll see how the Cardinals approach the 2019 season where they'll be coming off their worst season in recent years.
3 StubHub Center (Los Angeles Chargers)
Parking: $40 - Chargers Ballcap: $35 - 2 Beverages: $15.00 - Hot Dog: $5.25 = Total: $95.25
At first glance, it might seem like a ticket to see the Los Angeles Chargers play at the temporary StubHub Center is one of the hottest in the league. No, the Chargers are not a hot ticket in Los Angeles, a market that is widely apathetic to the city's secondary NFL franchise behind the Rams. The elusive nature of Chargers tickets comes down to StubHub's league-low 27,000-seat capacity. Last season, no other club averaged fewer than 50,000 fans per game. The opening of the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park can't come soon enough.
2 TIAA Bank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Ticket: $40 - Parking: $30 - 2 Beverages: $12 - 2 Hot Dogs: $10 - French Fries: $5 = Total: $97
Jacksonville Jaguars fans are perfectly content to let you make your jokes. Sure, think of them as a secondary citizen among NFL cities, a backwater town whose team is largely irrelevant and play in a building devoid of atmosphere. The secret, however, is in how enjoyable a live Jags game can be. Not only do they have a ton of potential, but TIAA Bank Field offers typically great weather, beautiful views of the nearby St Johns River and some pretty incredible bang for your buck. The extremely affordable pricing model has traditionally been a necessity for an organization that has struggled to grow its fan base and draw attention.
1 U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings)
Ticket: $60, Parking: $30, Beverage: $9 = Total: $99
Traditionally, the Minnesota Vikings have been able to maintain low cost and affordable offerings for fans. Right now, for a couple of reasons, that doesn't seem to be the case. For one thing, the Vikings have some on-field momentum coming off some resurgent seasons in recent years. Beyond that, there's also their still-new US Bank Stadium home, a state of the art venue that opened in time for the 2016 season. These are, ultimately, nice problems to have, but don't really allow for much in the way of cost savings.