So Tony Romo called out the Cowboys Nation this week for allowing so many visiting fans in his building during their win against the Texans on Sunday, so many in fact that he had to use a silent count on offense for the first time ever at a home game due to the crowd noise. Romo, who surely must have noticed the large contingency of 49ers and Saints fans at those games as well – no matter whether Jerry Jones noticed them or not – insert comedic relief quote from Jones here… “Listen, I’m interested in the football game and what went on with the game. It’s not good when you don’t win, from any perspective, marketing or otherwise. I had my eye on those turnovers and interest on those turnovers. I’m not even sure I know what you are talking about, to tell you the truth. OK?”
Lol Jerry you kill me, but back to Romo who may have finally reached a point on Sunday where he felt the need to vent a bit. “No question today we played on the road throughout a lot of it,” Romo said. “It was probably half and half our fans to their fans. I don’t know what it was, more than you can just tell with the crowd noise. That was every bit as loud as going to St. Louis or Tennessee. We need to understand that. We lose a lot of our ability to do some things at the line of scrimmage, pre-snap and lot of stuff that gives us a big advantages. For sure my perspective, we have to make sure going forward we have a lot more percentage all Cowboys. The funny thing is when we are all here it’s been rocking. This place has really been a tough place for other teams to come in and win when it gets going. I think the fans have been awesome this year. We just need to tighten up maybe on selling our tickets.”
So I see this as a case where perception isn’t realty, and an example of how professional athletes are sometimes just out of touch with the real world, or perhaps just naive, and not a knock on Romo individually. “Tighten up on selling our tickets” is the quote I want to focus on, and how, Tony, do you propose to do that? Make sure anyone buying tickets has a Cowboys bumper sticker on their F150? Or maybe a blue Star tattoo on their forearm? Their 5-year-old daughter dressed in a Cowboys Cheerleader outfit? I suppose they’re all legit ways to weed out the intruders, but the bottom line is your owner, who no doubt would prefer his stadium filled with fans wearing silver and blue everything being equal, cares most that the seats are filled, period, and cash registers ringing, and has priced your common fan out of the building….way, way, way out.
I was at the Saints game a couple weeks ago sitting in good mid-level seats on about the 35 yard line, thanks to a friend who had his law firm’s tickets. The tickets were $340 a pop. Parking was $75, and we still had to walk a block or two from the lot to the building. Hot dog and a beer? I believe that came in at about $20. Oh, the firm also had to pay $60,000 for seat licenses for the privilege of buying those 4 tickets each season. According to the website TipIQ, the Cowboys average ticket price this season is $322.28, the 6th highest in the league behind only Seattle (which no surprise saw a significant jump from 9th to 1st this year), New England, San Francisco, NY Giants, Chicago and Pittsburgh, and your average Cowboys fan is paying $48 more ticket then they did just last year (a ticket increase I assume based on another stellar 8-8 season with no playoffs).
Joe fan, who wouldn’t miss a game or sell his tickets if his life depended on it, is now watching at home, or in a sports bar, simply because he can’t afford to go. Only the individually wealthy or corporate DFW can afford those types of prices (and don’t forget season ticket holders are pirated into buying meaningless pre-season games at full price as well). Businesses use tickets to entertain clients and customers, and guess what? If your best client is a Texans fan and asks for the tickets to that game…you give them to them. The tickets are a business expense just like travel and lunches, and those who have invested the amount they have certainly can use them any way they choose fit. And if an individual (or business for that matter) can recoup a chunk of that investment by selling a game or two on StubHub to visiting fans…more power to them. Mix all this in with only 1 playoff victory in the last 17 years and its no big shock to me what we’re seeing.
So Romo, when asked whether he’d buy tickets for Cowboys fans to fill the building replied, “If I have to.” Now that I’d truly like to see, but I bet he changes his mind when he sees the prices…..