John & Shari: Home experience ‘challenges’ cost to see Seattle sports live

Dec 8, 2021, 3:51 PM
DeeJay Dallas #31 of the Seattle Seahawks pumps up the fans before a game at Lumen Field. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ticket prices for live professional sports in Seattle (and nationwide) are climbing higher and higher, especially when combined with the cost of parking and food. Is it worth it?

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KIRO Radio host Shari Elliker was shocked that parking lots in downtown Seattle were charging $55 for the Seahawks game.

As reported in a Crosscut article about high sporting event prices, if you take a family of four to a sporting event, the average spending nationwide is $568. However, in Seattle, it’s $588.

“It’s extraordinarily expensive to just try to go,” Shari said. “Now if you’re going to a baseball game, it’s a little bit cheaper — $253 is the average price.”

“This is a cost of a cheeseburger, or a hot dog, or whatever else,” host John Curley replied. “My rule is big pants.”

He joked that people go to games and say, “Why should we eat a hot dog out here for $3 when we can have one for $26 inside?”

But going to see your favorite players and favorite sports is about the experience, and it’s just the known cost of doing something, John and Shari agreed.

“It’s like when you go to Broadway or you go a play, and you spend $17 on a beer or something like that. It’s just what it costs,” Shari said. “But what this article is saying is it’s kind of unfair because it’s priced out of the market for most people, or for a lot of people. And therefore, you’re never going to get a lot of young people to be able to experience live sports if it’s priced so far out of range.”

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She explains that a suggestion in the Crosscut article is there should be lower prices for community organizations, families, or lower-income fans who just can’t afford to go. Additionally, some teams are now finding ways to give tickets away to help more people attend.

“But part of this is because stadiums cost so much,” Shari noted. “The 10 most expensive stadiums in the world are in the United States, and they cost over $1 billion, so they’re trying to make up for some of that.”

John and Shari also have noticed stadiums aren’t that full anymore, which John thinks has something to do with the fact that you can watch sports at home and have the same — or a better — experience.

“The home experience of everything now challenges all of that — going to the movies, all of that stuff,” Shari said.

“That’s right. I have a stranger come to my house and pour beer down my back while I’m watching the game,” John laughed.

“And then you can sit in your driveway for an hour trying to get out of it, trying to move,” Shari said. “So I can see why people just are staying away from it.”

Listen to the John Curley and Shari Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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John & Shari: Home experience ‘challenges’ cost to see Seattle sports live