Photo (cc) by Jim Bahn
This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site Credit.com.
The average price of a ticket to an NFL game increased 3.5 percent 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 percent 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 don’t improve on their 2-2 start.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the Cleveland Browns, who have a 1-2 record 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. Note: The Fan Cost Index includes four average-price tickets, two lowest-cost draft beers, four cheapest-priced soft drinks, four cheapest hot dogs, parking, two programs and two of the cheapest adult-size caps.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Average ticket price — $83.97 (up 3.5 percent from 2013).
Average premium ticket price — $238.75.
Fan Cost Index — $512.88 (up 9.5 percent).
9. Philadelphia Eagles
Average ticket — $98.69 (up 6.1 percent)
Premium ticket — $217.48.
FCI — $530.76 (up 7.9 percent).
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 percent).
Premium ticket — $344.41.
FCI — $553.63 (down 4.3 percent).
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 percent).
Premium ticket — $344.41.
FCI — $596.76 (up 3.3 percent).
4. Washington Redskins
Average ticket — $102 (no change).
Premium ticket — $375.32.
FCI — $597.51 (up 1.3 percent).
3. New England Patriots
Average ticket — $122 (up 3.1 percent).
Premium ticket — $566.77.
FCI — $624.70 (up 2.2 percent).
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 percent).
Premium ticket — $320.
FCI — $641.50 (up 38.7 percent).
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?
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.
Splurging on tickets can hurt more than just your wallet; it can affect your credit score if you max out a credit card to do it. You can see how your credit card spending is affecting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.
More on Credit.com: