It’s not a well hidden secret that I have had my beef with the National Football League and their hypocrisy regarding alcohol policies and their negative attitude towards tailgating in general. It all started three years ago when the NFL banned tailgating at the Super Bowl. In 2009 when the NFL started selling officially licensed NFL beer pong tables, we called them out on their hypocrisy at that time too.
Now the NFL has broached a new level of fleecing the NFL fan for every dime they have in their bank account. The NFL now has the audacity to charge people $200 per person for the privilege of standing outside of Cowboys Stadium (this year’s site of the Super Bowl) to watch the game on TV.
NBCDFW.com: NFL to Sell Standing-Room Tickets for Outside the Stadium
Yahoo! Sports: NFL to charge people $200 to stand outside Super Bowl stadium
ESPN Dallas: ‘We’ve never done this before’
The NFL isn’t calling it a “Tailgate Party” but rather the “Party Plaza”. You know, because, ummm, tailgating is apparently bad at the Super Bowl… you know, unless they can charge people $200 a head to do it.
So what does $200 get an NFL fan? Fans will have to sit on the grass on the East Side of the stadium and watch the game on HD TV screens. But wait! There’s more… You’ll also get a free parking pass, four Super Bowl game programs and four scarves. Yes, you read that right. Scarves! Because all NFL fans want scarves.
So let me get this straight… The NFL wants you to pay $200 to sit on a grass slope OUTSIDE the stadium and watch a game that is already available on your TV at home? That’s sounds like a heck of a deal but now that they have sweetened the deal with scarves, count me in. (I wish my blog had a sarcasm font so dumb people who would pay $200 to watch TV outside would know I am being facetious.)
Who’s willing to take the bet that the NFL and the stadium concessions will be selling hot dogs and beer at the same prices as they will be selling inside the stadium? Anyone? And you better not even think of dragging out your grill and cooking up some of your own brats. After all, tailgating is a bad thing at the Super Bowl.
There are two things at work here.
1) The NFL is selling the opportunity for fans to tell a story later to try and impress friends and family. I am sure the “Party Plaza” tickets will look very similar to the real Super Bowl tickets and the only people that can tell them apart will be the ticket takers and their hand held bar code scanners. So when someone who can’t get a real ticket wants to tell the story they were at the Super Bowl, they can pull out their ticket and prove to everyone they were there. No one really needs to know that you were loitering outside the stadium watching the same TV broadcast everyone else was watching at their house. It’s the story that matters and the NFL is banking that people will think that particular story is worth $200.
2) By doing this, the NFL is blatantly trying to break the attendance record for a Super Bowl. The current record is 103,985, set in 1980 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., where the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV. That record is legitimate because the Rose Bowl does seat over 100,000 people. Cowboys Stadium will expand its capacity to around 93,000 just for the Super Bowl. By selling these party plaza passes, the NFL is throwing a bone to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who has made it no secret he wants the record to be broken this year in his building. Or should I say he wants the record inside and outside his building?
Nice going NFL. By artificially inflating the attendance numbers you are losing more and more credibility. Here’s another idea. Why not make the security people, concession servers, elevator operators, janitors, trainers, equipment managers and parking attendants all count towards the total attendance too? That way you’ll set the mark so high it will never be broken. It will be the Joe DiMaggio unbreakable 56 game hitting streak record for Super Bowl attendance.
This has got to be the dumbest idea of all time. Then again, if you are one of those people that has more money than brains, go ahead and pay your $200 to stand on grass and watch it on TV while the rest of us slam chicken wings and nachos while watching it on our big screen. And hey, I will try not be too jealous when you show me your Super Bowl XLV scarf.