With an improved offense and Super Bowl dreams, the Chicago Bears raised ticket prices for the ninth time in 10 seasons, and their average season ticket is now $110.91, according to the annual Fan Cost Index survey.
The Bears’ average non-premium season ticket increased by 9.2 percent, the biggest percentage increase in the NFL, according to data collected by sports marketing research firm Team Marketing Report, which publishes the FCI survey. TMR uses season-ticket pricing for the survey.
Chicago also dramatically increased the price of single-game tickets, tacking on $25 to the season-ticket prices. This is a new pricing strategy for the Bears, though most teams in professional sports charge more for single-game tickets. The average premium (or club) ticket remains the same at $389.
"Our focus has been around adding benefits and amenities for our season-ticket holders," Bears vice president for sales and marketing Chris Hibbs wrote in an e-mail to ESPNChicago in July about the increase in single-game prices. "They should be paying less for their tickets than what the general public pays. We're very lucky to have a vast majority of Soldier Field filled with our loyal season-ticket holders, so the quantity of tickets available in the public on sale is limited to a few thousand per game. But we feel it's important that the public has an opportunity. The reality is we could sell them all as season tickets if we wanted."
Single-game tickets quickly sold out when the Bears released them in July.
The average NFL ticket is $78.38, which is up 2.5 percent from last season. The New York Jets have the most expensive average ticket at $117.94, just 10 cents more expensive than the New England Patriots. The Bears’ ticket is the fifth-most expensive for the second consecutive season.
The Bears aren't alone in raising prices in their division. In the NFC North, three of the four teams increased average ticket prices: The Bears (9.2 percent), Detroit Lions (8.3) and the Green Bay Packers (5 percent).
The Bears’ Fan Cost Index total, which is the price for a family of four to attend a game, is $608.64, the third-highest in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys have the highest FCI at $634.78.
The cheapest beer at Soldier Field is $8.50, or $1.25 higher than the league average.