It’s a bit simplistic to say you get what you pay for when talking about the price of admission to a Detroit Lions game at Ford Field. But considering the Lions emerged from the 2011 season with a winning record, a playoff spot and a healthy Matthew Stafford, the topic seems to beg for a cost-value comparison.
The Lions announced Friday that the team is raising ticket prices an average of 7.9 percent for the 2012 season. As reported by the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, in “a decision we don’t take lightly,” the Lions are raising prices for all seating except the premium (suites) seating. The lowest-price seats will increase from $30 to $35, and the highest-price non-luxury seats will go up from $90 to $99. The new rates will still keep prices to attend Lions home games below the average NFL pricing structure, likely ranking them at 23rd or 24th among the 32 teams.
The Lions’ most recent ticket price increase came following the 2007 season. During the ensuing five years, the team understood that the value proposition didn’t support additional increases. Now, though, the value of a seat at Ford Field is inarguably higher. The team boasts legitimate marquee players in Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndomukong Suh; its 2011 performance holds promise for a quick return to the playoffs; and good revenues generated by the ticket office support a high-performance team both philosophically and financially.
The move by the Lions organization is being characterized by some as controversial. And considering the economic hardships many Michiganders still face, perhaps it is. But the move isn’t without reason, nor is it unexpected, and I think Lions fans will, in general, remain focused on the value that comes with a top-tier team.