The average price of a ticket to an NFL game increased 3.5% from last season to $84.43 apiece, but that’s a steal if you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan. One of those tickets goes for $117 on average, now the second highest in the league after a 40% price increase, according to the NFL Fan Cost Index.
Sure, the 49ers have a brand-spankin’-new stadium, and they were ranked No. 3 on the ESPN NFL Power Rankings heading into the season, but fans likely won’t enjoy absorbing the cost of attending a game at the new Levi’s Stadium if the 49ers (1-2) continue on their current trajectory.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the Cleveland Browns, who have the same record as the 49ers but charge fans less than half of what San Francisco fanatics have to pay to experience a football game in person. An average Browns ticket goes for $54.20 — the same as last season — which is the lowest price point in the league. When you factor in the whole experience — the ticket, beer, parking, a soft drink, a program — the Jacksonville Jaguars offer the least expensive game day. You get what you pay for, though — the Jaguars haven’t won a game yet this season.
If any of these 10 teams are your favorites, you can expect to drop some serious dough at the stadium:
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Average ticket price: $83.97 (up 3.5% from 2013)
Average premium ticket price: $238.75
Fan Cost Index: $512.88 (up 9.5%)
9. Philadelphia Eagles
Average ticket: $98.69 (up 6.1%)
Premium ticket: $217.48
FCI: $530.76 (up 7.9%)
8. Baltimore Ravens
Average ticket: $100.19 (no change)
Premium ticket: $258.94
FCI: $547.26 (no change)
7. New York Jets
Average ticket: $105.66 (down 4.2%)
Premium ticket: $344.41
FCI: $553.63 (down 4.3%)
6. New York Giants
Average ticket: $111.69 (no change)
Premium ticket: $464.75
FCI: $582.76 (no change)
5. Chicago Bears
Average ticket: $108.44 (up 4.7%)
Premium ticket: $344.41
FCI: $596.76 (up 3.3%)
4. Washington Redskins
Average ticket: $102 (no change)
Premium ticket: $375.32
FCI: $597.51 (up 1.3%)
3. New England Patriots
Average ticket: $122 (up 3.1%)
Premium ticket: $566.77
FCI: $624.70 (up 2.2%)
2. Dallas Cowboys
Average ticket: $110.00 (no change)
Premium ticket: $340
FCI: $634.80 (no change)
1. San Francisco 49ers
Average ticket: $117 (up 40.1%)
Premium ticket: $320
FCI: $641.50 (up 38.7%)
Those may be the priciest games to attend overall, but there are some other price points worth noting. For example: It costs $11 to park at a Detroit Lions game. That’s barely enough to buy you a beer at an Oakland Raiders game ($10.75), which is pretty remarkable. Meanwhile, you can get eight beers at a Dallas Cowboys game for what you pay in parking: $75.
At an Atlanta Falcons game, one of the cheaper events, you’re going to pay $6.50 for a soda, which is second only to the $7.50 charge at a Ravens game — why does a soft drink cost $6.50 in Coca-Cola country? Better question: Why does one of the most expensive parts of the country, New England, have the cheapest hot dogs? The league average for a hot dog is $5.38, but it only costs $3.75 at a Patriots game. What are you up to, Massachussetts? Perhaps it’s best to keep it a secret.
Regardless of your allegiance, you should always be prepared for the high cost of attending an NFL game. The atmosphere might be worth its price to you, as long as you don’t go into debt. That’s definitely not worth it (especially if your team loses). Your finances win if you make sure games, including snacks and parking, are well within your budget.
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