The North American sports market continues to drive substantial commercial value. With fanaticism and team loyalty growing exponentially, fans are driving commercial revenues for franchise sports sky high.
In 2018, the market’s revenue came in at $71.06 billion, with the figure set to rise to $83.1 billion by 2023. In addition, sports merchandising, including everything from team jerseys to branded sports equipment, is projected to hit a revenue of $15.4 billion in North America by 2023.
With figures reaching their billions in the North American sports market, our analysts looked at how expensive these season tickets can be. Collecting data from official franchise ticketing partners, we could identify the most expensive show on earth across the world of franchise sport. As well as looking at ticket attendance and official merchandise, they have found out which fans were spending the most and how many were coming out in droves to back their teams.
But how much does it truly cost to root for your favourite team?
NBA season tickets are the most expensive among the five sports analyzed. The average season ticket price is a whopping $46,756.72. The top three most expensive in the NBA are the Los Angeles Lakers ($200,000), the Philadelphia 76ers ($123,000) and the Washington Wizards ($102,500).
With ticket sales reaching up to $200,000 to follow teams each season, it is no wonder that the NBA made a first-time record of $10 billion during their 2021-22 season. The professional basketball league also hit a whopping $8.9 billion in basketball-related income during that season.
On average, an NFL season ticket ranks fourth among the five popular sports analyzed. In terms of overall season ticket prices across franchises, the San Francisco 49ers and the NBA’s Boston Celtics came in fourth with season ticket prices at $80,000.
Support for the NFL has grown astronomically since the 70s and 80s with the emergence of the first true franchise superstars. The NFL established itself as the dominant U.S. spectator sport, while the beloved Super Bowl became an unofficial national holiday. The Super Bowl has seen figures reach up to $17.2 billion in revenue. In 2021, despite the impact of a global pandemic, meaning fans could not gather in homes and bars, Americans still spent a total of $13.9 billion.
Unsurprisingly, the cheapest season tickets were for the Canadian Football League. Games ranged from $2,850 to $797 for fans to support their beloved team. The Calgary Stampeders would be the team to get behind, with the second-cheapest ticket price among CFL teams and the most wins over the last decade at 122.
The most expensive authentic jersey is none other than the MLB’s Colorado Rockies, currently priced at $474.99. With only one manufacturer, the price is no surprise. Next is the L.A. Lakers jersey, retailing at $450. Of the five sports analyzed, three authentic L.A. jerseys appeared among the most expensive. For example, an NFL L.A. Raiders jersey is priced at $375.
In fourth and fifth place were the NHL LA Kings and the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats, with jerseys costing $316 and $244.99, respectively.
Baseball was ranked as having the highest home attendance during the MLB season. With standard ticket prices ranging between $5 and $23 and 162 games scheduled throughout a season, your favourite team can play almost every day – it is clear why attendance is so high. Over 20 franchises across the MLB see up to 2.8 million fans rooting for them. The LA Dodgers saw the highest attendance, with 2.8 million fans coming to support.
Following behind was the NBA, ranking second for home attendance, with the Chicago Bulls pulling in the highest number of fans at 856,148. This was closely followed by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, with 782,772 spectators in attendance.
Despite the popularity of the NBA, NHL, and soccer, American Football teams dominate as the most valuable sports teams worldwide according to brand value as of 2022. Of all NFL franchises, the Dallas Cowboys see the highest attendance for home games, with 747,368 coming to support. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports team worldwide, with an estimated $6.5 billion in 2022.
The sport with the lowest home attendance was the Canadian Football League. The CFL had an average of 133,402 fans across the nine franchises turning up to support. The Saskatchewan Roughriders saw the highest attendance at 201,863, and the Toronto Argonauts saw the lowest with 60,223 fans.
Ticket prices based on forthcoming 22/23 seasons. Information collated from official franchise ticketing partners, where individual franchise ticketing information is unavailable for the forthcoming season, this has been omitted. Attendance information collected from official league sources. Apparel and official merchandise information is collected from official franchise partners. All prices are correct as of July 2022.