Pop Culture Clash
Philadelphia is a very rich sports town with great traditions and amazing fans. My beef is the expense of being a sports fan in Philadelphia.
Prices for tickets to sporting events have skyrocketed in the last few years, not to mention food, beverages, souvenirs and parking. The Fan Cost Index™ comprises the prices of four (4) adult average-price tickets, two (2) small draft beers, four (4) small soft drinks, four (4) regular-size hot dogs, parking for one (1)car, two (2) game programs and two (2) least expensive, adult-size adjustable caps. For the Philadelphia Phillies the FCI was $240.66 which was the sixth highest in Major League baseball. The Eagles in 2010 had an FCI of $391.50 which is below the average of the NFL, but at the same time to costly for the average fan, the Flyers were $329.59 the tenth highest in the NHL. Being a father of two and a family of 4 in this economy there is no way I can afford to take my family to more than one game a season if I am lucky.
I will compare those prices with those of the Reading Phillies. I will use the most expensive ticket of $11 for a regular season game, $1.75 per Hot Dog, $3.25 per small drink, $5 per draft beer, free parking, free game day pamphlet, and $15 for the least expensive adult-size adjustable caps. The total for the Fan Cost Index for the Reading Phillies is $104. That is the difference of $136.66. Major sports franchises are pricing themselves out of being family friendly and that is where minor league sports teams come into play. Again the Philadelphia area has an abundance of minor league sports teams within about an hour drive baseball teams besides the Reading Phillies, you have the Phillies AAA team the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and their A team the Lakewood Blue Claws, The Yankees AA team the Trenton, Thunder, The Kansas City Royals A team Wilmington Blue Rocks, and Independent team the Camden Riversharks. Hockey teams within an hour of Philadelphia are the Trenton Titans and Reading Royals.
Another great thing about minor league sports is that they try to make it fun for kids to attend a game. I took my family out to First Energy Stadium in Reading on April 3 for a game between the Reading Phillies and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. We sat in the second row right next to the Iron Pigs dugout, my son had a great time, he got an autograph from Hall of Famer Ryne Sanndberg, got to talk to Domonic Brown and got a ball tossed to him by catcher Eric Kratz, not to mention the four mascots, vegetable races, t-shirt toss and slingshot game to win tickets to another game. The giveaways are aplenty at minor league games as well, autograph, bobbleheads, fireworks, and much more.
Although basketball does not have a developmental league team in Philadelphia, Philadelphia has major college basketball with the city six teams consisting of Temple, Drexel, Villanova, St. Joseph’s, LaSalle and the University Pennsylvania. The rivalries that these teams have are second to none, anyone who has been to a holy war game between Villanova and St. Joseph’s can tell you there is nothing like it. It is also an affordable way to take in a game.
While I am a diehard Philadelphia sports fan, the prices are forcing me to watch more and more games at home, while taking in more minor league games with my family. If you have attended a minor league game please send me your feedback good or bad and let me know what you thought.
By Chris Pierce
Reading Phillies- http://reading.phillies.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t522
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs- http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t1410
Wilmington Blue Rocks- http://wilmington.bluerocks.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t426
Lakewood Blueclaws- http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t427
Trenton Thunder- http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t567
Camden Riversharks- http://www.riversharks.com/
Reding Royals- http://www.royalshockey.com/
Trenton Titans- www.trentontitanshockey.com/
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