My son was too young to remember seeing the Washington Redskins play the Los Angeles Rams at Anaheim Stadium. Both teams had abysmal 2-7 records. I got tickets for my family from a former WAVA co-worker who had gone on to a job at WTEM. The Redskins lost the game, 10-6.
The current “Snatch and Grab It” commercials for NFL.com Ticket Exchange got me thinking. Perhaps my son could look online for a ticket to see the Redskins play the St. Louis Rams next Sunday. The worst seats in the house cost $40 apiece plus service charges, which is too expensive for a college student’s budget. Double it if he wants to bring a friend.
Even if he paid the money to sit in the rafters of the Edward Jones Dome, his view of the game would be worse than if he watched it on TV. A couple of recent newspaper articles have examined the same problem. The Washington Post points out that television ratings for the NFL are up but attendance at the games is down. USA Today reminds us that teams like the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants are putting massive HD screens in their stadia.
I love watching the NFL in high-definition in my living room. I’ve been to games in New York, New Haven, New Jersey, Washington, Anaheim and Nashville and never had a view of the field as good as a high-def broadcast or a seat as comfortable as my recliner. I’ve had more fun at high school games because I can get a seat on the 50-yard line and actually see the game. I wonder if the NFL owners realize how bad some of the seats are and if that’s why they installed the HD screens. As the at-home experience continues to improve, the obvious answer is for the owners to drop ticket prices to attract those willing to brave the elements as a way of showing their loyalty to the team.