Football: The Cost of the Game 🏈


Football season is here! The game of football is heralded as one of the most celebrated team sports in the world. One could argue the game of football is the most physically demanding sport. It has been described as “controlled violence” on the field of play. As a former college football player and football enthusiast, the game provides a level of excitement and entertainment like no other sport. To most fans, this game is definitely worth the cost of a ticket or purchasing mobile apps for play by play actions. For the players, the cost of the game means something entirely different. This blog will explore some of the the cost of the game of football.

Cost To The Fan


The price of an admission ticket ranges from $3 to $5 for little league to high school. For high school football playoff games, the ticket prices increase depending on the location. Some high school playoff games are played in college football stadiums and requires paid parking in the range of $10 to $20. Most high school state championship games are played in pro football stadiums. For college football games, the price of tickets varies. Depending on the college football program, fans and students can pay up to $500 per ticket. College bowl games and national championship games are even more expensive. The aforementioned costs are only for the tickets and parking. This does not account for food and beverages purchased at the concession counters. For those who call themselves true fans, there is also the purchase of team merchandise to wear to the game.

Cost to The Football Program


To run a college football program, the costs are oftentimes not spotlighted. From the 2013-14 season to the 2016-17 season, thirty-one universities spent $100 million or more on their college football programs. These costs are associated with scholarships, equipment, and facilities. These college institutions invest money into their football programs due to the return on invest their football programs provide to their universities. From national notoriety, revenue from television and radio broadcasts, ticket sales, and boosters, the college institutions believe these types of monetary invests are well worth every dollar spent.

Cost to the Players

As a former grade school and college football player, I love the team aspect and hard work the game provided me. I played well enough to earn a four year athletic scholarship, and experienced how physically demanding the game of football can be. I understood there is a cost that accompanies the physical demand; muscle aches, pains, and injuries. Between my junior year in high school and sophomore year of college, I had three football related surgeries; left wrist and two right knee surgeries. The knee injury resulted in the end of my football playing days. I was fortunate to obtain my college degree and went on to obtain my master’s degree. However, I am still feeling the effects of that high physical demand of football today in the form of mild arthritis in my knee and hip joint.

Injuries is one of the major costs that football players experience. Here is some data regarding football related injuries.

Andrew Luck announced his retirement as the quarterback from the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts on August 24, 2019. Andrew played for the Colts six seasons and has been one of the most often injured players in the league. Here is the list of Luck’s injuries:

  • torn cartilage in two ribs
  • partially torn abdomen
  • a lacerated kidney that left him urinating blood
  • at least 1 concussion
  • a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder
  • and calf/ankle

Football is one if not the most exciting physical team sports. From little league, grade school, college, and professional, there is so much that accounts for the game day atmosphere. One would agree there is a monetary cost associated with the organizations that provide the football programs. Another cost is the money spent to enjoy the game from fan perspective with admissions to the games, access to viewing on cable or mobile apps, to purchasing team merchandise. The cost to the football players can extend beyond the game of play and well into their life after their football careers. From whatever perspective you enjoy the game, know the cost.
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