This month, we examine costs and trends to attend major sporting events.

One of the main considerations of sports fans is the cost to attend a sporting event.  During this time of increased viewing options and the competition for a person’s time, money is the one constant metric.

The game must be worthy of a consumers dollars and attention.  The amenities should provide the quality of experience fans expect.

There are many strategies being utilized to interact with consumers.  Adjusting ticket prices according to supply, demand and other factors is becoming more popular as a tool to fill the venues.

Dynamic ticketing modifies pricing in real time to account for the local market, schedule, weather conditions and other causes. The result is prices reflecting fair market value. 

Affordability is the underlying premise for all venue operators.  How can a family have enough money to bring everyone to the event and enjoy themselves.  Lower ticket prices can encourage buying and create loyalty.

Sports tickets are typically purchased in several ways:

Season tickets are offered for sale at the beginning of the year.  They require the highest level of commitment (financial and time) from the fan and receives the highest discount;

Individual tickets are sold at face value but can result in pricing inefficiency with high demand sell-outs and low demand “lackluster games.”

Tickets can be purchased when resold to another owner.     

The underlying premise of ticket sales is revenue.  Each fan has a customer lifetime value.  The more races a spectator attends, the more involved they become.  The most avid fans spend more money on tickets, merchandise, concessions, etc.

Team Marketing Report publishes its annual Fan Cost Index.  This metric comprises the prices of four adult average-price tickets; parking for one car, and the least available price for – two draft beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs and two adult size caps.

These calculations are used to compare prices across the top professional sports leagues in the United States.  Sports professionals uses this data to assess their outlook for their own teams and venues, while comparing their results to those of their peers.

The following presents totals from respective leagues:  National Football League – $536.04; National Hockey League – $459.85; National Basketball Association – $420.58; Major League Soccer – $250.40; and Major League Baseball – $234.38.

The highest priced leagues are viewed as “media first” properties for sponsors, while lower ones are “live event first” sports with digital and social extensions.

While Nascar is not covered by this analysis, it probably falls at the lower levels. 

Overall admissions and concessions revenue for publicly traded motorspots track operator companies has decreased by almost half in the last 10 years.  They have reduced grandstand seating capacity by a quarter. 

The television media deal that expires in 2024 is stabilizing revenue and sustaining profits.  

Track operators strive to provide value for their fans.  On average ticket prices have been dropping over the last few years.  They have discounted options for military, family and children free policies.  Parking is free at most venues. 

Hotels no longer require minimum stay requirements and deal prices can be had.  Coolers are allowed which provide food options and lessens wait times at concessions stands.

Technology is leading the way to meet the changing consumption habits at the track. 

Providing Wi-Fi access which allows live-streaming from mobile devices to social media updates on multiple platforms, is here to stay.

Emphasis is placed on the fan that attends a live event.  If the experience is awesome, the amenities are outstanding, research points that have a chance to make them a fan for life.