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Inflation is rising, but fans are paying for NBA, NFL, other sports tickets


Humans are changing their spending habitsAs prices rise to levels not seen for four decades making choices that favor experiences. This means that live sports are in high demand.

Dennis Coates of University of Maryland Baltimore County said that the price of sports tickets is not always responsive to changing prices. “Good times, bad times, high prices — it doesn’t change consumers’ behavior” around spending on sports.

Although pandemic controls are decreasing, many cases are high in certain areas. People want to be able to travel more. Ari Emanuel CEO, Ultimate Fighting Championship Owner, stated that people are looking for high-end experiences and want to escape. Endeavorrecently on CNBC. “They just want to have a good time.”

It was shown earlier this month when ticket prices for upcoming 2022 NFL gamesSeatGeek reported that league schedules were released immediately after prices averaged $307 per head. Although the price of tickets is lower than last year’s average $411, it still exceeds the $305 average in 2020 when Covid restricted attendance. Before the outbreak of the disease, the average price was $258. Ticket prices reflect demand, and they usually fluctuate throughout the season.

The demand is increasing and teams and organizations have begun to raise prices. This week’s PGA Championship will feature a concession menu showed $18 beers. Spending rates per fan grew for the NFLThe Fan Cost Index created by Team Marketing Report in Chicago, an sports marketing company, shows that the NBA has been in its most recent seasons. Chris Hartweg (CEO of the company) said that the index estimates what it would take to buy nonpremium seating, beer, sodas four times, two hotdogs, merchandise, and parking.

Fans are filling arenas to watch the NBA and NHL playoffs this spring. Hugo Figueroa was 29, and he purchased three playoff tickets worth $1,200 to see the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics.

Figueroa stated that he works hard but plays hard as a CNBC reporter last month while seated in front of the Nets’ Fan Shop at Barclays Center. According to Figueroa, he had purchased beer at the match but ate food before he arrived because he didn’t want it to cost too much. Sports and entertainment venues tend to have higher concession prices than typical restaurants and food courts.

Figueroa explained that he does two jobs so that he is able to deal with increasing prices. He said, “I work to spend.”

Brooklyn Nets fan shop located at Barclays Center.

Jabari Young | CNBC

Judd Cramer is a Harvard University sports economist who was part of President Barack Obama’s administration. He says that strong consumer balance sheets are helping people to afford more sports.

Cramer stated that consumers seem to have managed it. “When I look back historically, we’ve had low inflation for a long while — but during the recession in the early 1980s, when GDP declined, sports spending was actually strong.”

Cramer stated that if ticket prices become too expensive for fans, there is always “another person” who can purchase inventory.

CNBC spoke with Emily Ushko 32. She said that she has a “little bit of disposable money” and would like to spend it on sport. Two tickets to a Nets-Celtics playoff match cost her more than $600, she said.

Ushko stated that it was a unique experience. You want to experience these people live.

This Oct. 4, 2020 photo shows an empty Levi’s Stadium prior to an NFL Football game.

Tony Avelar | AP

While consumers remain resilient in face of rising inflation, concerns persist that the U.S. could go into recession. This would force some working-class and middle-class supporters to make harder spending decisions.

Harvard’s Cramer stated that “People might get hurt a bit.”

Hartweg, of Team Marketing Report, warned that more people could “tap the brakes,” if essential products prices rise.

Figueroa said that he would reconsider going to Barclays Center next year if inflation continues.

There are still fans that will continue coming to the Sixers, even though they have higher prices and more economic uncertainty. Kevin Washington, a Philadelphia Sixers fan, is 58 years old and Tawana Washington, 53.

Washington declared, “It never entered my head.” It’s just a matter of budgeting a bit better. It is still important to have some fun. It is important to get away from reality.

But a recession may not occur and is still possible. Coates, a professor of sports economics, stated that another slowdown will only occur if there is a huge catastrophe with high unemployment. The unemployment rate currently stands at 3.6%.

“If it’s not a severe recession,” he stated, “I believe people can weather it for most of the time.”