The NFL has become the greatest sports league in the world, and getting a regular-season ticket for any game is no easy or cheap task.
However, while prices have remained high for preseason games, the ease of obtaining them has been great. Despite preseason games routinely being far from sellouts and often featuring half-filled stadiums, teams have continued to charge fans high prices for these games that often feature backups and fringe roster players getting the bulk of playing time. They amount to games that are often worth nowhere close to what teams charge for them, which had led to outcries from fans for years now.
The Cincinnati Bengals are trying something new that will help lower the cost of preseason tickets. The team announced Monday that 2016 season-ticket pricing has been set, and it introduces a two-tier model - one tier for preseason games and another for regular-season games.
"We are adopting a model this year that prices the preseason games at a lower point than regular-season games," said Katie Blackburn, Bengals Executive Vice-President in a press release. "It's a growing trend across the NFL, and we want to address the interests of fans who have expressed a desire for these options. We look forward to having a great 2016 season with an even stronger Season Ticket base."
Reserve seats for 2016 preseason games will range from $23-$62, a significant drop from the $35-$95 range for 2015. Here's a complete roundup of 2016 pricing:
Following a 12-4 season and an AFC North division crown, season-ticket holders will see a slight increase in their average ticket price, but attending a Bengals game will still be more than $10 below the NFL average, per the Fan Cost Index.
With the Bengals facing Washington in London next season that counts as a home game for Cincy, so season-ticket holders can expect to receive a renewal notice with pricing to reflect a nine-game package instead of the traditional 10 games (2 preseason, 8 regular season).
The 2016 regular-season home schedule features the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Dates, kickoff times and preseason game information will be announced later in the offseason.
Today's move continues a documented trend of great value for Bengals season-ticket holders. In 2015, the Bengals were noted by TickPick as having the second-lowest cost per win for fans among NFL teams.
"Season Ticket Members receive the lowest possible price per seat, so the time is right to lock in the best value now," said Duane Haring, Bengals Director of Ticket Sales and Service. "A new feature we're proud to offer for 2016 is an enhanced service department, centered around providing top customer service and accessibility."
Fans interested in season tickets should go here.
What do you think of the newest prices for preseason tickets?