Going to an NFL game is an investment, just as much in time and misery as it is in cash. So who in god's name would go watch the Jaguars? Not many, it turns out.
Below is a chart that shows how teams have affected the secondary ticket prices for games this coming season, via Vivid Seats. The data come from VS's market, but competition in the secondary ticket markets keeps these things more or less in line with each other.
The top of the chart is obvious enough—historically popular teams with national fanbases like the Packers, 49ers, Cowboys, and Steelers are always going to do well, unless they're terrible. Other teams like the Broncos got a boost, presumably for their last chance to see Peyton Manning float ducks out of his butt nine yards down the field.
The bottom of the chart is hilarious, too. The Cardinals won 10 games last year, but are nearly as disastrous at the gate as the Jags, who are obviously the worst. Enough people are willing to break quarantine on the Bucs to move them to third worst. Somehow, the Texans, the worst team of them all, were near the middle of the pack, in 19th place. But how the hell does that happen? Texas, basically.
See, the Texans are not good, and even Clowney and Watt aren't enough to make anyone think different. But even a terrible Texans team and a middling Cowboys team (which will, for whatever it's worth, at least feature a tremendous offensive line vs. the Texans' DEs) isn't enough to dissuade the locals from shelling out for an intrastate game.
The Cowboys have a similar effect when they head to Tennessee and St. Louis:
But overall, the NFC East gets boned playing the AFC South, as the Jaguars, Titans, Colts, and Texans all post big negatives when playing in the NFC East cities. (You can see all of these charts at the end of this post.)
The most expensive games of the year are pretty predictable, but Bears-Niners is a weird one to have the highest floor. The Bears have the highest average home ticket price, and travel well, and the Niners have the third-highest home rate—but like, the Seahawks have the second-highest and are a natural rival. [Commenter points out that Bears-Niners is the first regular season game in the new stadium.]
While we're at it, here's how every team does at its home gate:
NFL Home Team 2014 Ticket Prices
Average Ticket Prices
1) Chicago ($428)
2) Seattle ($405)
3) San Francisco ($377)
4) New England ($376)
5) Denver ($337)
6) New York Giants ($275)
7) Dallas ($274)
8) Green Bay ($268)
9) New Orleans ($256)
10) Pittsburgh ($236)
11) Philadelphia ($215)
12) Houston ($213)
13) Baltimore ($199)
14) Washington ($187)
15) Carolina ($185)
16) New York Jets ($182)
17) San Diego ($181)
18) Miami ($169)
19) Atlanta ($160)
20) Tennessee ($154)
21) Arizona ($153)
T22) Indianapolis ($151)
T22) Minnesota ($151)
24) Jacksonville ($145)
25) Detroit ($144)
26) Oakland ($138)
27) Tampa Bay ($134)
28) Cincinnati ($132)
T29) Cleveland ($130)
T29) Kansas City ($130)
31) St. Louis ($126)
32) Buffalo ($123)
Below, we've republished (with permission) Vivid's full report on how visiting teams affected the gates.
- Overall, the Cardinals have the 2nd smallest road draw at -21.4% on average
- Atlanta fans seem to value the Cardinals coming to town the least (-34.4%)
- Overall, the Falcons have the 9th smallest road draw in the NFL (-11.9%)
- Green Bay fans seem to value the Falcons coming to town the least (-32.9%), while New Orleans fans value them the most (+1.5%)
- Tickets are -10.4% cheaper, on average, for the game against the Colts
- New Orleans and Pittsburgh fans seem to value the Ravens the most with ticket prices increasing 15.9% and 16.4% respectively
- Overall, home fans pay -16.7% less for a game against the Bills
- Denver sees the biggest decrease of all Bills road games (-28.1%)
- Overall, home fans pay -5.7% less for a game against the Panthers.
- Game against the Saints has the biggest decrease in median ticket price (-17.9%), while the Packers game has the biggest increase in median ticket price (+13.9%)
- Overall, have the 7th biggest road draw in the NFL (+23.5%)
- Lions fans seem to be willing to pay +44.6% more to see the Bears
- Bears at Packers rivalry commands a +32% increase
- New Orleans fans are willing to pay -21.6% less than their average home game to see the Bengals
- Ravens fans show the only increase in ticket prices (+11.7%)
- Overall, home fans pay -9% less for a game against the Browns.
- Against the Steelers, however, ticket prices increase +20.6%
- Overall, have the 5th biggest road draw in the NFL (+38.3%)
- Tennessee Titans fans are willing to pay +116.6% more for tickets against the Cowboys.
- Overall, have the 4th biggest road draw in the NFL (+38.6%)
- Patriots fans are willing to pay +57.1% more than their average home game to see the Broncos
- Bengals fans are willing to pay +48.3% more than their average home game to see a rematch against the Broncos.
- Overall, have the 8th smallest road draw in the NFL (-12.1%)
- Away game ticket prices only show an increase over the average median ticket price against the Patriots.
Green Bay Packers
- Overall, the Packers are the 3rd biggest road draw in the NFL (+40.6%)
- Biggest increases are at New Orleans (+57.0%), Minnesota (+48.8%) and Tampa Bay (+48.6%)
- Cowboys fans are willing to pay +19% more for Texans tickets, while Tennessee Titans fans are willing to pay -29.4% less for tickets against the Texans.
- Broncos fans are willing to pay +31.4% more than their average home game to see the Colts play
- Overall, Colts away games only marginally impact ticket prices (-0.4%)
- Overall, the Jaguars have the worst road draw of any team in the NFL (-21.5%)
Kansas City Chiefs
- Overall, the Chiefs have the 10th worst road draw in the NFL (-11.2%)
- However, Broncos fans are willing to pay +5.3% more than their average home game to see the Chiefs
- Overall, the Dolphins have minimal impact on road ticket prices (+0.2%)
- Buffalo Bills fans are willing to pay 47.1% more for tickets against Miami
- Overall, have the 11th worst road draw in the NFL (-10.2%)
- Green Bay Packers fans, however, are willing to pay +18.3% more to see the famous rivalry.
New England Patriots
- Overall, the Patriots have the 6th biggest road draw in the NFL (+37.7%)
- Biggest individual game draws are against the Chargers (+65.6%), Colts (+55.8%), and Chiefs (+55.7%)
New Orleans Saints
- The Saints show an 11.9% increase overall for road game ticket prices.
- Biggest draw is against the Atlanta Falcons (+60.7%), while Chicago fans show the least interest (-13.5%)
New York Giants
- The Giants show little impact for overall road game ticket prices (+1.6%)
- Detroit and Jacksonville fans show the most interest with ticket prices increasing 16.7% for both matchups.
New York Jets
- Biggest draw is at Green Bay (+32%)
- Smallest draws are at Kansas City (-23.2%), Tennessee (-17.6%), and Minnesota (-16.8%)
- Biggest draw is at New England (+7%)
- Smallest draw is at Seattle (-27.5%) and St. Louis (-25%)
- Biggest draw is at Washington (+15.1%) and Green Bay (+13.2%)
- Smallest draw is at San Francisco (-4.5%)
- Overall, the Steelers have the 2nd biggest road draw in the NFL (+44%)
- Biggest draw is against Tennessee (+63.0%), Jacksonville (+58.4%), and Atlanta (+57.4%)
- Smallest draw is against the New York Jets (+10.5%)
San Diego Chargers
- Overall, the Chargers have the 7th worst road draw in the NFL (-12.8%)
- Smallest draw is at Miami (-22.5%)
San Francisco 49ers
- Overall, the 49ers are the biggest road draw in the NFL (+44.9%)
- Biggest draw is against the Oakland Raiders (+135.7%), while the Giants show the smallest influence with ticket prices increasing 13.2%.
- Defending Super Bowl champions have the 8th best road draw in the NFL (+19.3%)
- Biggest draw is at San Francisco (+44.7%), while the smallest draw is at Carolina (-3.8%)
St. Louis Rams
- Overall, the Rams have the 5th worst road draw in the NFL (-15.6%)
- Smallest draw is at Seattle (-28%)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Overall, the Buccaneers have the 3rd worst road draw in the NFL (-19.4%)
- Smallest draw is at Carolina (-39.2%)
- Overall, the Titans have the 6th worst road draw in the NFL (-15%)
- All road games show a negative impact on ticket prices
- Biggest draw is at Houston (+12.5%)
- Smallest draw is at Arizona (-10.9%)
Note: Games played at neutral sites are excluded