When I was at last week's game in Blacksburg, I had someone complain to me about the $48 price tag on their ticket to see the Hokies take on Georgia Tech. Their eyes bugged out when I told them face value for good tickets to the Oklahoma State-Nebraska game a couple of weeks prior was $190. That pretty much ended the complaints about the VTAD's prices.
Pro sports fans have been used to price gouging for a while and that trend is quickly making its way to college football, where fans are having to shell out more than $100 for face value tickets to a rising number of games. It makes me thankful for the way Virginia Tech handles its tickets. And thankful for an HD TV.
I got my first HD TV about this time last year (Why yes, it is a Samsung, thanks for asking!) and since then I've been amazed at how many times I've decided to just stay home and watch a game on TV rather than go see a game in person. It's saved me a lot of money. Last year, girlfriend4heisman and I didn't go to a single game for the local pro basketball or close-by pro baseball team. We only went to one college basketball game when we had discussed going to several.
The reason every time that is was worth it just to stay at home and watch on HD. I'm sure more and more people across the country are doing the same. My theory is that one of the reasons for decreased attendance for several professional sports is that digital television has now become the standard.
A lot more people have HD now than five years ago and now even people without it have digital converter boxes, which makes "over the air" channels exponentially clearer.
Yet, ticket prices keep going up. Eventually I think we're going to get to the point where sports teams are either going to have to lower ticket prices or improve their fan experience if they want to keep people coming through the turnstiles. I'm to the point where I'd rather stay home and watch games on HD, and I'm the guy who went to five freaking games in one day.
I'm sure normal, sane humans passed that point a long time ago. And it's only going to get better for home viewers. I've seen 3D sports and for people willing to sit at home wearing glasses, it's going to be spectacular.
For the people setting ticket prices, the message is clear: Make it worth my while to leave the couch, because right now it generally isn't.