09 Jun 2011
We haven't run a lot of "editorials" about the lockout here at Football Outsiders, and we've tried not to get in anyone's corner. We just want the two sides to figure this out and play some damn football already. But I'm sorry, this one just pisses me off.
PFT reports today about Roger Goodell giving a talk to Tampa Bay Buccaneers ticket-holders about the lockout. Goodell apparently told the Bucs fans that one of the goals of the lockout is to lower ticket prices for fans. "We can't continue to shift the cost, whether it's the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans," said Goodell.
This is nonsense. Ticket prices are primarily decided by two variables: supply of tickets and demand for tickets. That's basic economics. When you're pricing tickets, you charge what the market will bear. It doesn't matter what your player costs are. Otherwise, all 32 teams would be non-profit operations. If you cut costs, you don't drop your ticket prices. You take profit home. I can't think of any team that wouldn't want more profit, except perhaps Green Bay.
If player costs go up, you don't raise ticket prices past the point where supply and demand meet. That's inefficient, because the rise in prices won't make up for the corresponding drop in ticket sales.
Hey Roger, do you want to lower ticket prices for fans? STOP CHARGING FULL PRICE FOR PRESEASON EXHIBITION GAMES. Heck, you could even shift the charges and raise the cost of regular season tickets to cover the drop in the prices of preseason tickets, and I bet most fans would be fine with that. People are just plain offended at the idea that preseason games cost the same amount of money as regular season games. Last time I checked, the Red Sox don't charge $100 for spring training tickets.
Addendum: I want to make clear that I'm not saying that the owners are wrong about everything regarding the lockout. Perhaps it is true that player costs are getting close to the point where they will outpace revenues, and therefore player costs have to come down. But if that's the case, then that's the argument that Goodell should be making.
66 comments, Last at 15 Jun 2011, 2:45pm by tuluse