Home > The Major League Bank Breakers
Fan Cost Index

Being a major league sports fan is a financial commitment at the best of times, but with rising costs across the likes of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, supporters in America are suffering an increased strain, and many are feeling priced out of live sport. But which major league franchises have increased prices by the biggest margin over the last decade?

Comparing the cost of being a fan of each team (according to the official Fan Cost Index) in 2012 vs 2022, we’ve been able to rank the major league bank breakers.

What is the Fan Cost Index? To put it simply, the fan cost index is the total cost of taking a family of four to a sporting event. Specifically, FCI comprises the prices of four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one hour, two game programs and the two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.

Curious how much your favorite team has increased their prices? Just read on to find out, and remember US Betting Report is also home to the best US betting sites.

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The NFL Teams Breaking The Bank

The cost of being an NFL fan has risen considerably over the last 10 years (roughly 33%), with the average family now expected to spend around $600 per gameday. This figure is set to continue rising and is even forecasted to exceed $700 by 2030. But which NFL teams are hitting fans’ pockets the hardest?

Well, with a 93.3% increase in fan-cost since 2012, it’s the Las Vegas Raiders who top this unfortunate list. In fact, the Nevada-based franchise charges the third-highest rate of all major league teams, despite the team achieving just two playoff appearances since 2002.

Delving into the data, fans have seen their typical gameday expenditure rise by an eye-watering $356 since 2012, with families now paying $739.36 for each day out at the Allegiant Stadium. Long forgotten are the prices at Oakland Coliseum.

Next up, the Cleveland Browns have the second-steepest rise in fan-cost since 2012, with supporters spending 72.6% more now than 10 years ago. However, it’s worth noting that in 2012, the Browns offered the second-most affordable gameday experience of all NFL teams, so the increase only matches the 2022 average. In real terms, though, the typical family is now expected to pay $593.23, compared to $343.80 in 2012.

Rounding out the three NFL bank breaking teams, we have last season’s Super Bowl runner-up the Philadelphia Eagles. Since 2012, Eagles supporters have seen the cost of the gameday experience increase by 71%, with a family now forking out almost $680 for each game they attend. This is an increase of $282.23 on 2012’s figures.

The NBA Teams Breaking The Bank

Just like the NFL, the cost of attending NBA games has risen considerably over the years, with fans now spending 47% more than in 2012. This equates to a rise of almost $150 for a family of four, who are now expected to pay over $460 for each game they attend.

Topping the list, the Golden State Warriors are the NBA and major league’s biggest culprits, with a mega 184% rise in fan-cost over the last decade. Perhaps due to the significant on-court success they’ve enjoyed in the period and across mobile sports betting apps. In 2012, a typical family of four paid just over $260 for the gameday experience, making the Warriors one of the most affordable teams to support. However, fast-forward 10 years, and they’re the second-most expensive in the NBA, with the same family now paying $740.08 per game.

In second, fans of the Houston Rockets are forking out 89% more to support their team now vs 2012. Ten years ago, the Rockets offered affordable, below-average pricing, with a family day out costing just under $300. However, today, a trip to the Toyota Center on gameday will cost a family over $565, a rise of $266.24. This comes despite the team’s only tangible recent success being a handful of division titles.

Next up, the Sacramento Kings are the NBA team with the third-sharpest increase in supporter-cost over the last 10 years. In 2012, on average, families paid $268.28 to watch the Kings, but this has now risen to $480, representing a rise of $211.93, or 79%.

Now Let’s Step On to The Ice

As with the other major leagues, NHL fans can’t escape the rising costs of sporting fandom, with supporters expected to spend just 30% more on the gameday experience now vs. 10 years ago. This is an increase of over $100 for a family day out, which now costs over $460.

Sitting atop our fan cost list, we have the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are charging supporters 70% more now than in 2012. In contrast, the Lightning offered the second-most affordable rates in 2012, so the rise will be felt across the fanbase. In real terms, that’s a rise of $178.26 for a family of four to visit, from the $256.48 it cost just 10 years ago. Though, with a couple of Stanley Cup titles in the last few years, the ownership will feel an increase is somewhat justified, even if not all fans agree.

Next up, we have the Nashville Predators, whose fans have been dealt with a 57% rise in gameday costs over the last 10 years, despite just a couple of division title wins in the period. For a family of four, this means an increase of $190.23 — from $336.26 per game in 2012 to $526.49 today.

Rounding out the three steepest risers, the New York Rangers are now charging fans 55% more to enjoy the gameday experience than in 2012. Let’s hope fans are making a killing at NY sportsbooks.

Let’s Go Around The Horn

Of the four major leagues we’ve looked at, MLB fans are the least impacted by the rising cost of sport – though, they’re still being asked to spend 23% more on the gameday experience now vs 2012.

The worst offender across Major League Baseball is the Washington Nationals, whose supporters are paying 62% more than they were 10 years ago. The ownership will likely feel justified in raising prices thanks to the team’s somewhat recent World Series win, but families heading to Nationals Park may feel frustrated about spending a further $122.64 as the team has slid in mediocrity.

In second, fans of the Houston Astros have seen a rise of 58%, which is an increase of $130.39 for a typical family of four. In fact, the $354.72 now expected of families actually places the Astros among the most-expensive MLB teams to support, behind only the Boston Red Sox ($385.37) and Chicago Cubs ($364.83).

Tied with the Astros are the San Diego Padres, whose fans are also forced to fork out 58% more on tickets, refreshments, and souvenirs now than in 2012. For a family of four, this means spending $237.74 per gameday, compared to just $150.66 ten years ago.

Methodology

To create the rankings, we acquired Fan Cost Index data for 2012 and 2022 (the most recent available data). With this data, we identified which teams have experienced the biggest rise in prices over the last decade.

*The Fan Cost Index comprises the prices of four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one hour, two game programs and the two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.

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