In-Person SEC Football’s Viewing Experience is Dying

View of SEC football logo (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
View of SEC football logo (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

SEC football tailgating, college football tailgating and ticket sales as a whole have a problem when it comes to this favorite past time. While the hot dogs, burgers and other delights are appetizing, the number of games available on television networks and streaming services has grown tremendously over the years. And this growth contributes directly to the decrease in ticket sales and atmospheres both inside the stadium during the game, and before it during tailgating. All of this keeps people at home, and not on the campuses of their favorite college team.

While atmospheres are still electric across college football, in an article by CBS Sports, college football ticket sales declined for the seventh year in a row in 2022, and is at its lowest season average since 1981. This is even more concerning as there is inarguably more seat availability across dozens of college stadiums as the sports popularity has grown over the year.

However, while the sport is popular, look for more and more people to view the game from the comfort of their own homes as it’s cheaper, and you can also watch pretty much any game for any team.

Is the in-person SEC football viewing experience getting worse?

According to RotoWire, ticket prices at SEC schools like Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida cost $244 on average. The Big 10 was not far behind with an average ticket price of $223.

In many parts of the country, the decline in temperature is drastic as fall sets in and temperatures fall to cold, snowy, damp, rainy or all of the above. This could also be a contributing factor of keeping folks at home.

With all these forces combined – ticket costs, comfortability, technology, etc., one factor is supreme. And that would have to be the amount of games available to keep folks at bay.

Back in the 1990’s there was only a handful of games on all TV networks combined, and there were also no additional streaming services like ESPN+, YouTubeTV, etc. So if your team wasn’t in the top five or ten in the country, more than likely you’d have to go to the game if you wanted to watch. Now, you don’t have to leave your couch. A service like YouTubeTV has a starting package of roughly $72 per month. That in theory gets you to see four of your teams games for a viewing price of $18 per game. In stadium, according to RotoWire, that cost is $244 per game if you wanted to view it in person. And that’s just the ticket. That doesn’t include concessions, miles on your vehicle, hotel stay if necessary, parking, etc.

If you do decide to go to a game however, here are the best places to tailgate at each SEC football school.

Fans and TV networks have figured out how they can be the real winners. And this may force a decline by universities of their ticket prices in the future, or expect this trend to continue for more than seven years in a row.

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