Fans Still Want NFL Tickets, Despite What President Trump SaysBy
Ticket prices are up on the secondary market, volume is steady
‘Any boycott impact has been evened out by added publicity’
President Donald Trump’s call for an NFL boycott may have led some fans to turn off their TVs -- football’s ratings have been mixed so far -- but they’re not staying home.
Ticket sales for this weekend’s games are very much like those in Weeks 2 and 3, according to an analysis of resale data by SeatGeek. Median prices for games this weekend are about 8 percent higher than they were for last weekend’s games. Sales volume is flat.
"We have not seen a noticeable net impact on the demand for NFL tickets, one way or the other," said SeatGeek content analyst Chris Leyden. "This does not mean there has been no impact, but rather that any sort of boycott impact has been evened out by the added publicity and support for the sport."
Trump made the National Football League the center of a national political debate last weekend, after his criticism of players and owners inspired demonstrations across the league. More than 150 players knelt during the national anthem, a protest started last year by quarterback Colin Kaepernick over racial injustice and police brutality, and three teams stayed off the field entirely for the pregame festivities. Some owners, including a few Trump donors, took the field alongside their players.
In the aftermath, league sponsors have either stayed quiet or issued cautious statements aimed at appealing to both sides. In videos posted online, fans appear to have burned their season tickets, and DirecTV, the only place to get live access to all NFL games, is offering refunds to customers offended by the anthem protests.
Trump later reiterated his position, saying that the league’s business would “go to hell” unless it stopped the protests. Some teams, including the Denver Broncos, have said they’ll stand during the anthem this weekend.