Planning on bringing your family to a major league sports game for an affordable price? Think again.
According to a recently published article in the Los Angeles Times, $100 will not be enough to bring a family of four to a professional sports game due to the current ticket prices. While there are plenty of options for wealthy people looking to get up close and personal to the action, like fine dining, luxury suites, and VIP seats, there’s not many options for casual middle class fans anymore.
The USC Price Center for Social Innovation noted that the median income for a family of four in Los Angeles County is $78,673, but after accounting for costs throughout the year such as housing, child care, health care, food, and transport, an average family is left with around $3,413 a year or $284 a month. That means it would be relatively reasonable to spend $100 on a family outing at a sporting event – maybe even two a year. However, after conducting a study within 11 major professional teams within Los Angeles and Orange County, the Times found that only one team could guarantee that a family can get into a weekend game for $100.
The Angels are reportedly the only team that offers prices affordable enough for an average family around Los Angeles. The team offers a $44 family pack which includes four seats on the field level, four hot dogs, and four soft drinks. The Ducks come close at $120, followed by the Kings at $220, however, it only goes up from there.
Amid this survey, it’s been reported that both the NFL and MLB had their lowest attendance records in over a dozen years. MLB’s attendance dropped down to 68.49 million, its lowest since 2003. This is the league’s sixth decline over the last seven seasons. Similarly, the NFL only averaged 66,648 attendees per home game throughout 2019, which is the lowest average since 2004. Most fans said that they’d rather watch the game from the comfort of their own home on TV, rather than pay an insane amount of money to see it live.
While ticket prices are certainly to blame, the low numbers also have to do with the fact that younger fans aren’t as interested in sports as they once were. Ultimately, the expensive tickets are pricing kids out of games, and if a family isn’t able to afford a day out at the ballpark, it’s likely that the child won’t grow up with much of an interest in sports.
Some teams are making an effort to reel in the younger fans with a handful of initiatives. The San Francisco Giants told fans late last year that they would decrease ticket prices in 2020, with certain seats dipping in price as much as 21 percent. Additionally, the Oakland A’s offered free tickets to kids throughout the month of September, following the Baltimore Oreioles’ lead in 2018.
A report from Deloitte this year shows that more millennials have a video gaming subscription that a pay-TV subscription. Chris Hartweg of Team Marketing Report told the Times that he worries that the industry might be in trouble when the older generation of fans die off, as “the next generation has never been to a game, to be hooked on it.”
“The average Joe that used to make a weekend out of it, a road trip with the whole family, got priced out,” Hartweg said. “And now you can’t get them to come back.”
Featured photo via Pixabay