You know the economy is sluggish when fewer people show up for a cherished Sunday ritual. Yes, attendance is down at pro football games.
The upshot: The stolid economy is taking a toll on upper-income men, who make up a large part of the NFL's fan base, according to the analysis by New York investment firm CovergEx Group.
"American consumers are less and less comfortable shelling out hundreds of bucks for nothing other than a few hours of fun, especially when the 50-inch flat screen in the family room lets you see the game at no additional expense," researcher Beth Reed wrote in the report.
ConvergEx did the report in part to assess the spending patterns of the so-called mass affluent, which are typically hard to track. Citing data from another research firm, 28% of NFL fans earn more than $100,000 a year, while just 14% earn less than $40,000, the report said.
Everything is relative, of course. Although down from a record high of 67,738 in 2007, attendance at an average NFL game last year was still a very healthy 64,706.
And ticket prices remain high for winning teams. A ticket to tonight’s season-opening game in New York between the
Not every team is so lucky. A ticket in New York this Sunday for the
Seven teams lowered ticket prices this year while 15 kept them flat, according to ConvergEx. Only 10 teams, including the
"Even the nation's most popular sport is struggling to grow attendance and is beholden to macroeconomic forces which have lingered for years," according to the report. "Growth will come, but it will take time."