In the not too distant past, many Americans likely couldn’t justify spending their hard earned money on exorbitantly priced tickets for NFL, games. According to TheBlaze, tickets for even the worst seats in NFL stadiums cost more than 100 dollars a few years ago. Thanks to the kneeling antics of Colin Kaepernick and his followers, however, fans might now be able to buy tickets for less than the price of a fast food meal.
Vivid Seats, a ticket reselling website showed tickets for the December 10, 2017 showdown between the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts sold for as low as a measly two dollars. The best seats, in the lower part of Buffalo’s Orchard Park stadium near the 50-yard-line, were only selling for 29 dollars. These coveted seats usually sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Granted, the weather at Orchard Park on the Sunday in question wasn’t sunny and comfortable. Instead, it was a blistering 28 degrees Fahrenheit with 18 mile per hour winds. Six to eight inches of snow also fell during the game, which Buffalo won in overtime.
Unfortunately for NFL owners, this frigid game wasn’t an outlier. Tickets for the contest between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings sold for as little as seven dollars. As both Carolina and Minnesota are in playoff contention, one would think fans would have been excited about attending the game. On this Sunday, one could even watch the heralded Green Bay Packers play for as low as 12 dollars. While all teams’ ticket prices haven’t yet reached the basement, they’re not nearly as expensive as they used to be.
Even though the Dallas Cowboys have been called “America’s Team” for decades, one can purchase a ticket to see them play later this month for an astonishing 10 dollars.
Only two years ago, the NFL was the king of American sports leagues. It was realizing both record viewership and revenue. Then, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the brash decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem at a preseason game in 2016. He proclaimed he was protesting police brutality and systemic racism in America. While ratings suffered mildly due to the kneeling protests, the controversy had largely died down by the end of the 2016 football season.
In September of 2017, President Donald Trump publicly condemned NFL players who participate in kneeling protests during the national anthem at NFL games. At a campaign rally for Senator Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, Trump said, “We’re proud of our country and we’re proud of our flag.” He also voiced his opinion that players who disrespect the American flag and kneel during the national anthem should be escorted out of the stadium and cut from their teams. The president’s remarks led many Americans to boycott the NFL. It also caused numerous liberal players who already disdained the President to kneel at games.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican from Georgia, aptly called out NFL players and owners who objected to President Trump’s criticism of them kneeling during the national anthem. Echoing many Americans’ sentiments, he said, “I don’t tune in to [sports] to worry about politics.”
“Don’t impose on me your sense of somehow, you feel oppressed,” he added. “If you’re a multimillionaire who feels oppressed, you need a therapist, not a publicity stunt.”
Decreased viewership, diminished popularity, sinking ticket prices, and ultimately decreased revenue ensued. In November of 2017, TheBlaze reported that the NFL and its television partners, Fox Sports, CBS, NBC, and ESPN, have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2017 season. Since 2015, ratings have plummeted a mind-boggling 20 percent. Even more troubling, the NFL’s television partners are on pace to lose 500 million dollars this year.
President Trump recently blamed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for allowing players to kneel during the national anthem at games. On November 24, 2017, the President tweeted, “Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players. The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!”
Until Roger Goodell, players, and owners begin respecting the national anthem and those who selflessly serve to protect the freedom Americans enjoy, the price of an NFL ticket will likely continue to be a steal of a deal.
~ Liberty Planet