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Sports are Too Expensive for Many People to Enjoy; Something Needs to Change

By Rhegan Vanhoozer

Integrated Marketing Communications Student

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Do you remember a time when you went to the ball park as a child or even played a sport yourself? Do you remember the feeling of adrenaline, sportsmanship and connection with the people around you?

Sports connect people in a way most things cannot. They bring together people that wouldn’t normally associate by celebrating common ideals and ultimately strengthen societal bonds. 

Sports give hope to younger generations by boosting self-esteem and can even raise awareness for key societal issues.

But there’s a big issue we are not dealing with—the expense. 

The average cost to see a Major League Baseball game for a family of four, according to tbonesbaseball.com, is between $324 and $344; SeakGeek’s calculations have the NFL’s average ticket price at $151, and the NBA’s tickets average is from $85 to $95 as stated by TicketSmarter.

That’s not even counting the price of food, drinks and parking at the sporting event. 

I’m sure by this point you’re thinking just don’t go to the games, watch them at home. Have you seen ESPN lately?

To watch these games, you need the streaming service they’re broadcast on, but they have raised prices astronomically. 

To watch ESPN, you are required to have cable or to have another streaming service that has live TV. CableTV.com averages the monthly cost of cable to be between $55 and $250. I don’t know about you, but I am not paying that. 

The next option is to subscribe to another streaming service with live TV like Hulu Live, Sling or FuboTV. The cheapest of these options is Sling Orange, which is $40 or more a month. 

This service doesn’t include all of ESPN’s channels, though. You can only have one stream at once, so it can’t be shared with family members, and you would have to upgrade to Sling Blue, which is more expensive to get ESPN2 and ESPN3. 

If you want access to watch everything that people with money can see at the stadiums, you would have to pay for extra channels like ESPN+ and SEC network. 

For example, a lot of Ole Miss games are streamed on SEC Network, and to watch them you would have to purchase Sling Orange for $40 a month and pay another $11 a month to see this channel.  

So, what other options do you have?

Create different accounts every time for free trials.

Yeah, that doesn’t work. 

You have to enter a payment method and even if you use a different email, they know that it’s your credit or debit card.  

No cheating the system there. 

According to the blog Giggabox, over 3 billion people tune into the Olympics or the World Cup every year. These are historic sporting events we share as an experience and feel together, but not everyone can enjoy this luxury. 

This problem doesn’t just fall onto professional sports. Even kids playing sports in middle school or high school are having the same issue, it’s just too financially draining to play. 

ESPN even wrote an article in 2019 titled: “Kids aren’t playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost.”

People are missing what sports bring to this world. Hope. 

Think about 1942, when the United States entered World War II. The commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking whether the professional baseball season should continue. 

“I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going,” said Roosevelt. 

He felt it would keep morale high, keep the community together and give men unable to fight in the war employment. And he was right. 

Baseball reached all-time highs during the war, giving people hope and easing anxieties across the country. Instead of day games, mostly night games were played so people could work and then attend, which made attendance at the ballpark skyrocket.

People needed an escape, and baseball was there for them, like other sports have been for us throughout centuries. 

Why can’t everyone have this feeling? 

It’s simple, really − inflation and the fact that America is getting greedy. 

This problem doesn’t just fall onto professional sports. Even kids playing sports in middle school or high school are having the same issue, it’s just too financially draining to play. 

Everyone who enjoys sports should be able to access them, and that’s the real bottom line. Something has to change.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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