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Will COVID-19 Impact the Cost of Attending Sporting Events?

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The cost of attending a pro sporting event has become prohibitive for the middle class fan, but industry experts believe when the games resume teams may have little choice but to reduce pricing on tickets, concessions, parking and souvenirs.

Chris Hartweg, publisher of the Team Marketing Report, said that the conversations he’s had with executives across the sporting landscape lead him to believe most clubs “will be aggressive with [pricing] to make it compelling for people to come back to the stadium or arena.” There is seemingly a universal understanding that with the global economy headed towards a recession fans’ budgets are likely to be limited.

Team executives also seem to grasp that with multiple leagues hoping to pick up play once social distancing orders are lifted, the competition for the fan’s time and money is bound to be stiff. Patrick Ryan, co-founder of Eventellect, said he would expect demand for MLB tickets to be strong for the first week or two and for the NBA and NHL Playoffs to be at or near sell-out, but he says after that all bets are off. “Teams that aren’t putting out a high quality product and don’t offer unique promotions and offers could see demand fall right off a cliff," he said.

MLB and MLS clubs, due to the sheer number of games on the schedule, are the ones likely to be reliant on promotions to move seats. Ryan suggested teamsbundle [tickets with] a bunch of F&B credits or offer 50% off concessions during weekday games” to appeal to budget conscious fans with options.

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