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The NFL Draft has jumped the shark

March 27, 2015

I have attended the NFL draft every year since 2010.  It truly was about the best experience in sports — you could buy a VIP package for around $500 which included tickets up front for rounds 1-3 along with a “behind the scenes” tour.

Quite frankly, I always thought the NFL could charge more for this because it was such a good experience — a front-row seat to an event that draws the most knowledgeable/hardcore fans.

I smelled trouble in 2015 when the NFL announced they’d be relocating the Draft to Chicago.  I figured they’d raise prices given that they were turning it into an “event” in Grant Park.  But hey, I’m a superfan, right?

Then I saw the package:

NFL Draft gankSo, the price goes from $550 to $2,000, but includes 3 nights in a hotel.  Let’s be generous and assume the hotel would normally be $300/night — that still means the Draft ITSELF costs around $1,100, almost double the $600 I paid in 2014.

Oh and notice they don’t even seat you in the auditorium!  You’re in carnival-like Grant Park, presumably watching on a big screen.

But wait.  It gets better!

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 1.13.52 PM

For $900 you go to a party, again not in the auditorium, but in some location in Grant Park where you “overlook” the Draft.  Basically they give you a sandwich & soda, with a gift bag.  And this costs MORE than what the “premium” package cost just 1 year ago!

So much to digest here.  Not only is the NFL acting like a pig at a trough, but they are destroying what was a fantastic event.  No more team tables in the auditorium.  No more running a card to the Commissioner.  It’s all a big pageant where they try to pack as many screaming yahoos into Grant Park (& presumably the auditorium).  There is a “process” by which the public can get free tickets.

Seems like the NFL wants a made-for-TV event rather than an actual Draft.  Even as a hardcore Draft guy, there is no way I’d spend that kind of money just to watch it from “Selection Square.”  Honestly, if they doubled the price but still kept the Draft the same, I’d probably pay it!

In sum, if the NFL would rather hordes of casual fans pack a made-for-TV scene for 3 days, they can have at it.  I’m staying home.

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From → NFL, NFL Draft, Sports

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