NEW YORK (AP) — About half of Americans say they are fans of pro football, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, and nearly a third of those fans say they would not consider attending a Super Bowl — even though few have any idea how much it costs.
The NFL is still the most popular sports league in the United States, drawing the highest TV ratings by far. Its revenues climbed above $9 billion last year and the Super Bowl between Seattle and Denver in New Jersey will be the most watched television program of the year.
The AP-GfK poll was released Saturday.
Last year, 56 percent of people polled said they were NFL fans, and that number dropped slightly to 49 percent this year. Even among those who said they were NFL fans, 31 percent said they had no interest in attending a Super Bowl, even if they could afford it.
Fans have complained about high ticket prices, with very few available to the general public at face value, and most fans having to go through resellers to get into the game.
Fans had a wide-range of guesses as to what a face value Super Bowl ticket costs, though 41 percent chose an amount between $251 and $500. The median estimate was $500. The median estimate from fans on what it would cost to buy a Super Bowl ticket on the secondary market rose to $1,000.
Ticket prices for the Super Bowl range from $500 to $2,600, though only 1,000 tickets are available for $500. Forbes reported Saturday that the average price for a ticket to next week's game from a ticket broker or secondary seller such as TiqIQ was $2,505, according to SeatGeek, which tracks prices. Prices change daily.
Nearly half of fans (48 percent) would be willing to pay $250 or less for a Super Bowl ticket if their team was playing in the game and 8 percent said they wouldn't be willing to pay anything to attend the game, even if their team was playing. Overall, the median price fans say they'd pay to attend the Super Bowl to see their team play is $200.
One percent of fans say they'd pay $10,000 to see their team play, the highest response received in the poll.
Fans were about evenly split on expansion of the playoffs. Twenty-six percent favor allowing more teams into the playoffs, an idea being considered by the NFL. Twenty-eight percent oppose it and 45 percent are neither in favor nor opposed.