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 Post subject: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:28 am 
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What still irks the NFL fan

It’s time to focus on the fan. Jack Bechta
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Print This June 05, 2013, 01:00 PM EST

With a labor contract secure and player safety improving, it’s time for the NFL to focus on the fans.

The other day, a friend of mine told me he is giving up his Chargers season tickets after having them for over 15 years. I asked why and told me it’s because he can no longer tolerate obnoxious fan behavior, tailgating isn’t fun anymore (with enforced restrictions, limited access to bathrooms) and his new HDTV experience at home is like being at the game.

Maybe it’s time to refocus on the fan, the in-stadium experience, and clean up the issues that irk the average fan.

Roger Goodell has a tougher job than people realize. He has to keep 32 owners/bosses in check, take bullets for them and be the bad guy, police over 2000 players and coaches, and maximize profits without compromising the game. Now he is saddled with concussion lawsuits and urgency in making the game safer. He has to do all these things while not compromising the integrity, the character and the excitement of the game. The bottom line is that he has to keep the fans wanting to keep coming back and consume every aspect of the game, whether in-stadium or watching it on any electronic platform.

Revenues and TV viewership keeps going higher so the commissioner and the league are doing a lot of things right from a business standpoint. However, there are still several areas that still irk fans that I have spoken to.

1) Charging fans full price for pre-season games: Anyone who’s ever been a season ticket holder knows that this is one of the biggest rip offs in all of sports. The pre-season product doesn’t match up to the regular season product and there should be an adjustment made. There’s really not a lot fans can do about this but something should be done. And it’s not getting rid of two games in trade for an 18 game season. I’d like to see one pre-season game limited to only rookies and players with less than three years experience.

2) Obnoxious fan behavior: Being an agent I get to visit a lot of stadiums and I will admit fan behavior has improved somewhat over the last two decades but it still has a way to go. Inebriated fans that project their alcohol induced aggressive antics toward opposing fans or their neighbors must be weeded out. There is no way that a father or mother should be intimidated to take their 8-year son or daughter to a game.

3) Limited access to games on TV/Blackouts: In the efforts to turn the NFL Network, well, into a serious network, the league is hammering square pegs in round holes to make this work at the expense of the fan, not just other networks. If you don’t have DirecTV or the NFL Network, an a la carte system for watching the game you want is still elusive. However, it looks like this could be changing soon, unless of course the NFL wants you to pay a premium for the NFLN. I think most fans, especially displaced fans will pay for an a la carte game, but let’s make it simple to do without them having to drill holes in the roof for a satellite dish or sit in a sports bar that serves crappy food.

4) Access to Super Bowl tickets for the fans of the team playing the game: Every year somebody calls me pleading for help in getting Super Bowl tickets for their family member who has been a die-hard fan their whole life and wants to go the game. I’ve been to about ten Super Bowls and most of the people there care more about the party than the teams in the game. The after market price for tickets (anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000) is not affordable for the average fan. Most season ticket holders sit through numerous wretched seasons and when their team finally starts winning they get shut out on access to Super Bowl tickets. There should be a bigger allotment and/or lottery for the season ticket holders whose team is in the game. With about twenty thousand tickets being resold in the secondary market, and some even by owners themselves, there are enough inventories available for the most deserving fans to get tickets at face value.

5) Tax Subsidized stadiums controlled by the owners: I am actually for tax subsidized stadiums but only if they are controlled by the taxpayers and benefit the taxpayer before the owner. There are some markets/owners who were given a stadium and the right to control ticket prices, parking, and in some cases the concessions. That’s having their cake and eating it too. Unfortunately, most of the cheapest known owners were the ones who benefited the most and have shared less with their fan base by continuing being cheap on securing top talent and passing on some profits back to the fan attending the game (i.e. more reasonable parking, ticket and food prices).

I would love to hear more beefs from the fans as to how the owners and Commissioners office can improve your fan experience. Trust me, they actually do listen.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta

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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:23 am 
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Quote:
1) Charging fans full price for pre-season games: Anyone who’s ever been a season ticket holder knows that this is one of the biggest rip offs in all of sports. The pre-season product doesn’t match up to the regular season product and there should be an adjustment made. There’s really not a lot fans can do about this but something should be done. And it’s not getting rid of two games in trade for an 18 game season. I’d like to see one pre-season game limited to only rookies and players with less than three years experience.


Yes fans can do something and after 38 years my big screen HD, just makes going seem stupid now. They change 1:00 pm games to Sunday night at 8:30 and then you do have too many drunks.

When I went to the Super Bowl I was really excited. Actually the two teams playing don't get too many tickets and its really a game where die hard fans are not there; and
their's no excitement in the air. Most are from the 32 Franchise organizations.

Another fair bitch is when Blank took over I was very happy with his $10 parking. About ten years latter its now $30 per game, and I did get preferred tickets to the Super Bowl back when we went.

Last year when we saw it could be possible to go to a Super Bowl We did not get
any advantage from being loyal season ticket holders in the process of selection of who gets tickets.

So now I don't have to hate Blank but if he can drive me away he can drive anyone away. Good luck with his licensed seats in his new stadium. If there's really a game I want to go to I can just buy it over the net.

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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:19 pm 
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The way the NFL has handled access to games on TV has been my biggest complaint ever since DirecTV and the NFL joined forces the royal screw a large swath of America. I'm fine with the NFL wanting to make extra money off their product on the backs of fans that don't live close enough to their favorite team to get the local broadcast. But give everyone an equal opportunity to buy access to those games.

With DirecTV you have to buy a ridiculously expensive subscription to the DirecTV service to have the right to pay another $500 or so a season (factoring in extra cost for HD). That of course is only available for people that can even get satellite service and not everyone can get that either. Why there isn't an option to buy an annual subscription from the NFL for live streaming video of the games is beyond me. I more than willingly pay MLB $30 a month to access almost every Yankee game via my Apple TV in high definition. When I can't watch the game I still have the audio package to listen. I also pay for the NFL audio subscription which I make due with for now but they need to add a package like MLB giving everyone access without having to pay DirecTV for the right to access this option.

I was very happy to see that if you pre-ordered the limited edition Madden 25 it also came with access to the DirecTV streaming service for NFL Sunday Ticket. For the first time in something like 5 years I'll be able to watch almost every single Falcon game. I'd love it if they offer this deal every year with Madden. $100 for the latest version of Madden and access to NFL Sunday Ticket web video streaming is perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Cyril wrote:
Actually the two teams playing don't get too many tickets and its really a game where die hard fans are not there; and
their's no excitement in the air. Most are from the 32 Franchise organizations.

I went to Super Bowl XL in 2005 between Steelers and Seahawks. And Ford Field that evening was filled with anywhere between 30-40,000 Steeler faithful.

In general, your statement is probably true. But teams like the Steelers buck that trend.

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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:55 pm 
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Pretty good list. The Falcons called me this off season trying to get me back on board. I had let my go this past year. I mentioned the rip off of pre-season and the guy agreed with me and said they really needed to do something about it. There's nothing like going to the games....but that doesn't necessarily mean it is better. I've been to scores of them but nothing like Cyril. You don't really miss it until you go to one. It's more habit than anything.

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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:45 am 
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I don't enjoy games at the Ga Dome. I never have. I LOVE Turner field, and though I've grown tired of watching baseball, I've been half tempted to go back to a game just to walk around the stadium. Also, getting in and out of Turner field is FAR less of a hassle than the Ga Dome. I doubt that the 2nd issue will be resolved with the new stadium, but perhaps the new stadium will be a more pleasant environment.


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 Post subject: Re: What still irks the NFL fan
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:33 am 
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Pudge Wrote
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I went to Super Bowl XL in 2005 between Steelers and Seahawks. And Ford Field that evening was filled with anywhere between 30-40,000 Steeler faithful.


I can certainly believe it; especially less than 300 miles away you probably had folks paying for the ticket and driving instead of flying. I know Steeler fans are faithful !!

In my case the people I were going with was changing every year; and sometimes I'd
give my other ticket away all season long.

It was all worth it, you just finally reach an age that your not in awe of the players;
and you realize everything stops sometime.

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