SOC 420/SPAD 391
Economics and Sport: Discussion Questions
Why Aren’t We Going to the Game?
In the years between 1991 and 2000, the average ticket prices for the three major sports increased more than
Although ticket prices for both the NBA and NHL have decreased, attendance at live games is still rather high.
*Average family cost: 4 mid-range tickets, 2 programs, 4 sodas/hot dogs, 2 beers, 2 caps, and parking.
Futhermore, ticket sales have dwindled over the past decade in all four major sports, and unsold tickets also result
in a loss on concessions, merchandise, parking, and program.
Some believe the growing disinterest in attending
live games is not only due to increased ticket prices but because consumers have more choices, such as television,
cable, internet, video, and/or movies, than they did 20-30 years ago.
Many consumers have their own high-tech
entertainment centers, rendering the live game not as attractive.
It is also argued that the stadium itself no longer
holds the same allure or stands for the same noble qualities it once did.
According to Alexander F. Grau in “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
And Where are the Stadiums You
Played In?” (presented to “Science, Technology and International Affairs” class at Georgetown University, 1998):
“athletes no longer play in the same stadia as their predecessors. They no longer gather in “the first civic centers
of America,” which provided “places for people to gather and enjoy community and sport.
People from a myriad
of backgrounds came together to celebrate and play.
And so was the born the classic stadium.
These early, almost
magical places helped to define the new and now hallowed American values of hard work, teamwork, loyalty, and
eventually tradition. The buildings had soul and effused colorful memories of heroes and glory days gone
..[Contemporary] stadiums do not retain the same significance they once did.
They have instead matured into
hollow structures devoid of the soul that at one time so perfectly characterized their predecessors.
structures may resemble their ancestors in outward appearance, but inside they conjure up only the faintest
recollections of the great American stadiums.
..They are no longer the meeting places of America.
become monuments to affluence, offering every good and service imaginable.”
• Are ticket prices responsible for discouraging attendance at live games?
Are more people inclined to watch
sporting events from the comfort of their homes? Are you more inclined to attend a game or watch at home or
• And/or is it a perhaps unconscious disgust with the contemporary stadia, especially those that have been built