This hobby of ours ain’t cheap.

According to SunTrust-sponsored analysis by Wakefield Research (h/t), the average cost for college football fans in the Southeast this season will be $1,212. The average cost increases to $4,232 if hotel stays are included.

Cost is defined in the study as

The Southeast college football fan cost analysis was created by Wakefield Research using publicly available data. Each of the 14 teams included in the study were assessed across 14 variables (seven major and seven sub-variables). Unless otherwise stated, “ticketing” includes “ticket price” and “donation”. Data was collected between August 13-23, 2018. Ticket Price: The lowest priced season ticket providing access to 7 home games per team.

  • Donation: The lowest priced season ticket donation amount.
  • Parking: The sum of individual parking passes for each home game of the season, available through StubHub.
  • Merchandise: The average price of a jersey plus the average of the highest and lowest priced cap listed at the official store of each team.
  • Tailgating: The price of a single cooler and portable grill plus the price of seven purchase (one for each home game) of: a case of beer, a 10lb bag of ice, a bag of 50 plastic cups, and two packs of 10 hot dogs.
  • Stadium Concessions: The price of a hot dog plus a regular soda at each team’s home stadium.
  • Hotel: The average cost of a one-night stay in a minimum 3-star hotel within 3.5 miles of the stadium. Two games are used as a proxy for the season: The Saturdays when each team plays their second and third game in their home city against an SEC opponent.

SEC schools are ranked in order of total costs minus hotel expense.  Topping the list is our beloved University of Georgia.  (UGA drops to third when you add hotels to the equation.)  It’s a decent chunk of change.

In connection with the study, a survey was conducted asking people what they were willing to forego to meet the expense of going to games.


SunTrust didn’t survey ADs about this, and, frankly, I’m more interested in hearing what, if any, data like this portends — particularly, the notion that fans have to weigh on what essentials they spend their disposable income.

It doesn’t sound like a question keeping Greg McGarity up at nights these days, but Ole Miss’ Ross Bjork has evidently been giving the matter some thought.

Might as well be speaking a foreign language, methinks.  Sigh.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

20 responses to “This hobby of ours ain’t cheap.

  1. Jim

    It’s really expensive. Taking family of 4 to W-B where the only expense was tickets was shocking. Granted we had really good seats and were in the shade but it was still pricey.

    The SECCG and playoff run last year was totally out of the question financially for the vast majority of fans


  2. Remember the Quincy

    Fascinating. There are a large number of fans (like me) who don’t fit this model, though. I don’t donate or buy season tickets, but rather shop the secondary market for tickets I want. Much cheaper overall. Plus, on odd-numbered years, all of our regular away games are closer to my home than Athens is, so I end up going almost exclusively to road games.

    But, yes, the cost is high and doing it for a family of four is really out of the question more than one time per season for most folks.


  3. AusDawg85

    The study omitted the cost of beer…how can we take it seriously?


  4. ilini84

    And this is why I’m working another year to keep my f/s tix since I don’t get them in retirement.


  5. That’s the bare bones minimum to get in the stadium. I wonder if the AD will respond to this as he did StatDawg.


  6. I’d hate to know how this would look once you include airfare to the games that are out of driving distance.


  7. The Georgia Way

    The parking revenue gap is being addressed with the Athletic Department’s acquisition of the parking facilities. Rest assured, The Georgia Way will be second to no one.

    See you at noon for the MTSU game.



  8. Chopdawg

    Every fan buys a case of beer for every game? No wonder the lines to the bathrooms at Sanford are so long!

    Also, we’re gonna totally be sick of eating hot dogs by the time the season’s over, if we eat 20 hot dogs before the game then one more when we get in the stadium.


  9. ATL Dawg

    You think Georgia is high now? Just wait until the coming 2019 increases get figured in.


  10. 79Dawg

    When it came down to it, I didn’t hesitate sacrificing my gym membership for my tickets…


  11. watcher16

    Surprisingly shows Auburn with the most expensive tickets


  12. Salty Dawg

    I am digging the way Ross thinks! Can we have him instead of McOldfogey?


  13. DawgFlan

    Drink a bunch of beer, eat a bunch of hot dogs, and forego the gym membership to afford tickets. Is college football to blame for the obesity epidemic in the South?


  14. DawgPhan

    It’s an easy 10k to tailgate and go to football games for a season.

    $1400 is barely the crown royal budget.


  15. PTC DAWG

    Lots of hobbies are expensive. Film at 11.


  16. Jt (the other one)

    It doesn’t look like this study rolled in the WLOCP for us. That game is cheaper for me since I am traveling from Tampa but it still is costing me quite a bit due to the fact we are overnighting Friday and Saturday and hotel costs near the stadium are jacked up and I had to secondary market purchase parking near the stadium which ain’t cheap…I did get the club tix at face but for a family of 5…still expensive…


  17. Macallanlover

    With the researchers including coat of a damned jersey, you knew they weren’t “from ’round heah”. Last time I wore a jersey was to play football, last time I wore one “just because” was before I was 12.

    Costs are high for you season ticket guys, and going to climb. Cost of great seats when you cherry pick the best games off StubHub while watching the remainder on HDTV is pretty reasonable. There are usually 2-3 games a year attractive enough to consider that, to me. It is why attendance is declining, along with long term fans tired of fighting the hassle and not enough millennials to take op the slack. This trend will accelerate soon, and there is no getting that genie back in the jar. Once you break the habit, there are many reasons to not go back, and if you didn’t go during the tailgating/socializing heydays, there is no compelling reason to start. You can’t miss what you never had. Used to think stadium expansion was necessary, now I think it is Tom foolery. Attendance just isn’t going back the other way.