With an average price of $159.65 at the new Cowboys Stadium, ticket prices increased by 89.8 percent from a year ago at Texas Stadium, according to the annual Team Marketing Report released this month.
The increase pushed the Cowboys’ average ticket price nearly $42 higher than that of the New England Patriots ($117.84) and more than $70 higher than those of the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, the next-highest-priced teams.
The average Cowboys ticket is also more than double the NFL average of $74.99, which climbed only 3.9 percent from 2008.
The survey’s Fan Cost Index showed that the cost for a family of four to attend a Cowboys game is $758.58 — $160 more than the Patriots, the second-most-expensive team. The index covers prices for a family of four to attend a game and buy two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one and two of the least-expensive adjustable caps.
"I expected it," said Jon Greenberg, editor of the Chicago-based Team Marketing Report, which conducts the survey. "It’s maybe a little higher than I first thought. But their cheapest seat — $59 — is still as cheap as the Cincinnati Bengals, so there are some affordable seats scattered around the stadium. There are just a whole lot more expensive ones."
Greenberg noted that the Cowboys aren’t priciest in every category.
Like the Cowboys, the Patriots also have an average parking price of $40. In Chicago, Bears fans pay an average of $46 to park.
The most obvious comparison to Cowboys Stadium is the new Yankee Stadium that opened this year. The New York Yankees were forced to slash prices for their most expensive seats, some of which were $2,500 each.
Greenberg doesn’t see any price cuts happening with the Cowboys, though he has heard complaints about the personal seat licenses, which are not part of the survey. With only eight regular-season home games in the NFL, compared with 81 in Major League Baseball, he expects the Cowboys to have little trouble selling out this season.
But Greenberg cautions that football is more about on-field performance than baseball’s ambience.
"I still wonder how much fans really care about football stadiums," Greenberg said. "I guess the big screen there is cool. But how many fans are going to walk around and look at the art galleries? Who cares? In the NFL, it’s more centered on the field than the vistas and the views like in baseball."
Even though the Cowboys were criticized for selling too many Party Passes at the Giants game, Greenberg believes that the end zone plazas will remain popular if the team doesn’t oversell them.
"I think standing-room-only seats are a great idea for football games, but you have to limit it," Greenberg said. "I think they have to stick to a firm number so that people that buy them know they actually have a place to stand inside the stadium."