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How NFL hopes to slow declining attendance

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08:17 AM ET 07.01 | Professional football, America's most popular and profitable sport, is preparing to tackle a glaring weakness: Stadiums are increasingly empty. As part of sweeping changes designed to give teams more flexibility to fill their seats, the National Football League is watering down its controversial TV "blackout" rule, which restricts local broadcasts for games that aren't sellouts. And this season, for the first time, fans in the stadium will be able to watch the same instant replays the referees see during reviews of controversial calls. The league also is planning to introduce wireless Internet in every stadium and to create smartphone apps that could let fans listen to players wearing microphones on the field.

Wall Street Journal

Roger Goodell, Icon SMI Roger Goodell, Icon SMI
July 1, 2012  08:27 AM ET

Too Many No Show Jobs Already!!!

July 1, 2012  08:39 AM ET

It's all about marketing and remaining relevant. When home or bar television viewing offers more for the fan at a lower cost then you need to rethink the plan. Ultimately, an NFL game experience is becoming/has become too expensive for most fans anyhow.

July 1, 2012  08:39 AM ET

Lower the price of a seat and perhaps more tickets will be sold. Simple economic principle.

July 1, 2012  08:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Ultimately, an NFL game experience is becoming/has become too expensive for most fans anyhow.

Bingo!!

July 1, 2012  08:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Lower the price of a seat and perhaps more tickets will be sold. Simple economic principle.

It is the simplest process; however, the problem is that they keep adding amenities to the stadium experience and ticket prices go up to account for this. People pay ridiculous ticket prices to go for the "atmosphere". Unfortunately, for the real fan, you can't just go for the game without supplementing someone else's entertainment. It has become trendy and that's costing everyone else.

July 1, 2012  08:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Lower the price of a seat and perhaps more tickets will be sold. Simple economic principle.

It is the simplest process; however, the problem is that they keep adding amenities to the stadium experience and ticket prices go up to account for this. People pay ridiculous ticket prices to go for the "atmosphere". Unfortunately, for the real fan, you can't just go for the game without supplementing someone else's entertainment. It has become trendy and that's costing everyone else.

July 1, 2012  09:00 AM ET

Yeah, early morning lag.

July 1, 2012  09:09 AM ET

This is a red herring: PR only.
In 2009 individual sales of seats for games, accounted for close to $1.3 billion in revenue . That is for a total intake of $7.8 billion. The new media outlet deals are even more friendly to the owners. Not even 20% of revenue is from people in those seats.

Note: New stadiums ( JJ the exception) are generally smaller than the older stadiums. Fewer general sales seating. Big and growing on corporate suites and high end luxury boxes. That revenue is not shared with the visiting team.

In 2009 JJ took in over $80 million from those luxury suites. What do you suppose it is now?

Filled stadiums is for show mostly. It looks better on your TV. The money is in TV deals and merchandise sales.

July 1, 2012  09:12 AM ET

Declining attendance but greatly increased revenue......

Ya gotta let that sink in. Obviously there is a disconnect here.

July 1, 2012  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

This is a red herring: PR only. In 2009 individual sales of seats for games, accounted for close to $1.3 billion in revenue . That is for a total intake of $7.8 billion. The new media outlet deals are even more friendly to the owners. Not even 20% of revenue is from people in those seats.Note: New stadiums ( JJ the exception) are generally smaller than the older stadiums. Fewer general sales seating. Big and growing on corporate suites and high end luxury boxes. That revenue is not shared with the visiting team.In 2009 JJ took in over $80 million from those luxury suites. What do you suppose it is now?Filled stadiums is for show mostly. It looks better on your TV. The money is in TV deals and merchandise sales.

Too true. NFL doesn't need General Admission sales to continue to prosper.

July 1, 2012  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Too true. NFL doesn't need General Admission sales to continue to prosper.

You got it. It is obviously last on their to do list.

July 1, 2012  09:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

It is the simplest process; however, the problem is that they keep adding amenities to the stadium experience and ticket prices go up to account for this. People pay ridiculous ticket prices to go for the "atmosphere". Unfortunately, for the real fan, you can't just go for the game without supplementing someone else's entertainment. It has become trendy and that's costing everyone else.

Last time I was at a game was the 1970s. We would make our bets, decide whose car was being used, collect money for gas, tolls and parking. Drive to the stadium, watch the game and the scoreboard, and drink some beers. Thoroughly enjoyable day for less than $50. which included the price of the ticket (and this was in New York).

No need for all the hoopla and extraneous stuff. The mission was to watch a football game.

July 1, 2012  09:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Last time I was at a game was the 1970s. We would make our bets, decide whose car was being used, collect money for gas, tolls and parking. Drive to the stadium, watch the game and the scoreboard, and drink some beers. Thoroughly enjoyable day for less than $50. which included the price of the ticket (and this was in New York).No need for all the hoopla and extraneous stuff. The mission was to watch a football game.

I used to go every year to a Skins game. Now I save my money and watch on HDTV.

July 1, 2012  09:51 AM ET

I live in SC but want to watch the 'Skins; I want to be able to flip a button on my TV and watch the Washington game instead of the Panthers game when I want to(and *Don't remind me about NFL NetWork or NFL Channel PPV, Please.*) Cable should be able to provide an multi-switch for games. Shouldn't it?

July 1, 2012  09:52 AM ET

And Your Going to Try to Crack Da Market in LA?

July 1, 2012  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

I live in SC but want to watch the 'Skins; I want to be able to flip a button on my TV and watch the Washington game instead of the Panthers game when I want to(and *Don't remind me about NFL NetWork or NFL Channel PPV, Please.*) Cable should be able to provide an multi-switch for games. Shouldn't it?

Amen brother, but it will never happen. You have to pay to see out of market games.

I lived in New York and at least got 2 Skins vs GGGGMen games a year, plus whatever Sunday Night or Monday Night game. Now that I'm in the Jax area I don't even get the GGGMEN. <sigh>

July 1, 2012  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Last time I was at a game was the 1970s. We would make our bets, decide whose car was being used, collect money for gas, tolls and parking. Drive to the stadium, watch the game and the scoreboard, and drink some beers. Thoroughly enjoyable day for less than $50. which included the price of the ticket (and this was in New York).No need for all the hoopla and extraneous stuff. The mission was to watch a football game.

I went to my first game last Christmas eve. Took my 15yo son to see the Ravens at home against the Browns. Wish I could have had more opportunities over the years but even in the late 80s and early 90s while stationed in Philly, couldn't afford to go see a losing franchise.

As much as I don't like baseball, it's still one of the best deals in pro sports.

July 1, 2012  10:10 AM ET

Here's an idea. Pay per view. I would much rather stay home, pay $50 and watch my team every week rather than go to a bar and drop at least that much because they have DirecTV. The only option would be paying for 300 channels of crap I'd never watch just to get the Sunday Ticket for $200 or so more. This would also help with the "regional telecasts" which are criminal. Selling the Sunday Ticket through CABLE companies would also be a option.

July 1, 2012  10:27 AM ET

Hey !!! I like the stadium adventure. Ticket price ????, parking 30 $, bottle of water 5 $, hot dog 5 $, beer 7 $, bathroom 20 mim wait, drive home 45 miles, 2 1/2 hours. Oh and its the eagles so they lose, and Abdy Reids lunch is delivered in a semi

 
July 1, 2012  10:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Here's an idea. Pay per view. I would much rather stay home, pay $50 and watch my team every week rather than go to a bar and drop at least that much because they have DirecTV. The only option would be paying for 300 channels of crap I'd never watch just to get the Sunday Ticket for $200 or so more. This would also help with the "regional telecasts" which are criminal. Selling the Sunday Ticket through CABLE companies would also be a option.

They go that direction and watch ratings drop considerably. It's tough enough with the share of games that were pulled from network to air solely on NFL Network, which everyone still doesn't have access.

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