NEW YORK -- NFL ticket prices climbed 3.9 percent to an average of $74.99 for the 2009 season.
According to Team Marketing Report's survey released Wednesday, 21 teams either kept prices the same or lowered them. The main reason for the percentage increase was the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium that cost $1.2 billion to build.
The average ticket to a Cowboys game costs $159.65, a record for the Fan Cost Index survey, which dates to 1991. The New England Patriots previously had the priciest ticket in pro sports and that cost remained the same at $117.84.
But the Patriots still have the highest-priced premium ticket average, $566.67.
Not every Cowboys ticket is so pricey. The team offers season tickets as low as $59 per game -- the same price as the cheapest Cincinnati Bengals season ticket -- and they sold out quickly. The Cowboys also offer a $29 "party pass," a standing-room ticket.
Eighteen teams maintained ticket prices, and the Lions, who were 0-16 in 2008, dropped prices 1 percent. The Dolphins' average went down .8 percent.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said recently that local blackouts of games will be an issue this season, citing the weak economy as a major reason.
The Fan Cost Index takes a representative look at what a family of four could expect to spend at a football game this year. It takes into account the prices of four average-price general tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps. Season ticket prices are used, and premium (or club) seats are placed into their own category.
The Cowboys' FCI is $758.58, far outpacing the Patriots' $597.25 and the Chicago Bears' $501.33.
Average FCI for the league is $412.64, a 4.1 increase from last season. But only 10 teams are above the average.