The Seattle Seahawks are clearly not having one of their better years, as during the offseason the team lost many of its core veteran players to trades and free agency. But CenturyLink Stadium is one of the most popular and loudest sports venues around, and going there is more of an experience than simply watching a professional football game. This is mentioned because when you read what follows, you will not be shocked by the kind of money the average person will spend to attend a game.
Speaking of experience, actual ticket holders have said one “custom” you need to get used to at the game is if the person next to you turns to hug you after a great play, return it without hesitation. It seems a little weird if you are not a Seahawks fan, but it is part of the CenturyLink experience.
Ticket prices are among the highest in the league.
One reason for this is because the Seahawks have been a very good team for a number of years, consistently challenging for the NFC title and making it to the Super Bowl. Top talent has to be paid for, so it seems fair as long as the team remains competitive ticket prices will be on par with the team’s performance. The general range is between $200 and $300 per person, making a party of two having to cobble together $400 – $500 just to see a home game. One estimate puts the median price of a ticket at $316, moving the total upward to $632. Only the multiple Super Bowl champion New England Patriots charge a higher price per ticket.
Concessions are about average when compared to other teams in the league.
Per NFL regulations, you can bring food into the stadium as long as it meets the usual 12 x 8 x 12 clear plastic bag dimensions, one per person please. There are two sides to the tale of how much you will be spending for a beer and a hot dog at the game. Some websites have the price for a beer at $5 and a hot dog at $3, making it very cheap to eat at CenturyLink. $16 will put it near or at the bottom of the concession price rankings, but based on the ticket prices and what non-competitive teams charge these numbers seem to be suspiciously low. The other side of the story is that if you don’t bring your own food you will be spending a lot of money to eat. The story behind the story is that the vendors and concession stands are very averse to advertising their prices because they are exorbitantly high. This is more in line with the ticket price structure and makes more sense than a $5 beer.
The reported parking space prices range between $20 and $50 per game. Stadium parking tickets are scarce, leaving you with the option of having to walk to the stadium from one of the cheaper spots for about a half a mile. The prices are fairly reasonable – from $17 – $20 in general. The problem is that many of these available spots do not allow vehicles any larger than a standard sized car. If you have a minivan or SUV, chances are you will be paying double to park – if you can find a place that is reasonably close. This is where the parking meter starts to rise to that $50 level.
All these number make attending a single Seahawks game cost between $436 on the lowest end to $728 on the high end for two normal people each having a beer and a hot dog. This seems really over the top until you consider what it costs the average Seattle resident to live on a day to day basis. Seattle has some of the most expensive housing prices in the country, about 300% higher than the national average. If you like spending almost $4 for a dozen eggs, come to Seattle where this is the norm. A pint of beer at a local pub will run you an average of $6 (so the $5 beer is definitely low), and a gallon of gas runs about $3.50
The bottom line to the bottom line is that it simply costs a lot to live in Seattle, and what people outside of the city think is expensive is actually normal for its residents. Consider that a single lower sideline ticket to a New England Patriots game costs $2,000, these prices are within the bounds of reasonable.