Fans of the Buffalo Bills will have to dig deeper to attend games at Ralph Wilson Stadium next year, and while some of the ticket-price increases are hefty, fans have this thought to soothe their aching wallets: The average cost of a Bills ticket will remain the lowest in the National Football League.
The Bills have scaled ticket price increases so the larger increases are in the most expensive seats, where the price is going up by 27.7 percent, or $13 a game. The average increase is 12 percent, to $46.56 from $41.29, the biggest jump in Bills' ticket prices in 17 years. Tickets in the upper deck corners will drop by $2, to $42.
Like any other business, the Bills have labor costs and, like every other team in the NFL, those costs are stupendous. Top players command top money, and franchises need revenues -- including ticket revenues -- to field the competitive teams fans want. Whatever legitimate points can be made about shutting out fans with modest incomes, football clubs are businesses that can't exist to lose money.
Part of the reason for the increase, though, is the Bills' problem with the league's new revenue sharing formula, which team officials believe will hurt small-market clubs including Buffalo's.
No one likes paying more for the same thing. But fans still are willing to come out even during poor seasons and if the price of admission has to go up, at least it's remaining on the low end of the scale. Whether that qualifies as a good deal is a matter for ticket buyers to decide, but as the NFL goes, it's not bad.