A few days before news of XFL team nicknames and logos were released, the league sent information about season ticket prices for seven of the eight teams to those who had signed up for deposits.
XFL’s Las Vegas franchise is still without a stadium, so while season ticket deposits are being accepted, naturally, seat maps and pricing are not available at this time. A recent article in LVSportsBiz.com notes that the XFL is still looking at venues in Las Vegas.
For the other seven franchises, however, those who have made deposits and former season ticket holders got a chance to look at what seats they may want to purchase, and at what price. The seat selection window for deposit holders begins November 4; for the general public, season tickets will go on sale November 17.
Below is a comparison of season ticket prices from 2020 and 2023 for the teams that are returning to play. I’ve also included a comparison of the perks season ticket holders receive.
Season Ticket Holder Perks
In both 2020 and 2023, season ticket holders get a price lock for the first two seasons, as well as priority status for the playoffs. Things diverge a little bit from there. In 2020, there was an offer for 25% off merchandise at XFLShop.com; in 2023, it’s only 20% off. There was also an offer for early access to the XFL Football Advisory Network in 2020, which no longer exists under the new regime.
The offers in 2023 seem to be a little more specific than in 2020, which goes against how we’ve seen the XFL develop from afar under the new leadership. Specificity has not been their strong suit. Yet while 2020 promised “exclusive game day access” and “VIP Field Pass for one game,” 2023 has advertised “priority access to on-field game day experiences during the season” and “priority access for fan events like watch parties, fan fests, and other special events.” XFL 2020 simply offered “VIP team experiences throughout the year.”
In 2023, one has “priority to purchase additional seats at season ticket member pricing,” something not offered in 2020. They also promise “same seat for all home games,” which one imagines is naturally a perk for purchasing season tickets, not something that belongs in the above-and-beyond categories listed here. Unlike 2020, 2023 has nothing about “priority status for season ticket renewal,” though the league reaching out to 2020 season ticket holders for 2023 gives the impression those folks will have priority of some sort.
The big difference is that all of those bonuses for 2023 are under the “silver level” for season ticket holders. The only additional perk for the gold level is “priority access to exclusive Season Ticket Member team and coach events i.e. town halls, chalk talks, press conferences, and exclusive content and access.” For many if not all season tickets, gold access is available to all but the two lowest-priced season ticket sections.
Season Ticket Packages
When looking at the four returning venues and franchises, the most notable difference is a price increase at the top. Houston’s most expensive ticket is $5 pricier than 2020; same with Arlington, Seattle, and St. Louis. By far the most expensive ticket is in DC, where they top out at $135 per game, $675 for all five home games. They’re the only team whose top ticket exceeds $100 per game; in fact, two of their pricing sections do. That’s a $35 per game increase from 2020.
It’s somewhat surprising that DC is the one that is most expensive; perhaps it’s tied to being the smallest stadium and therefore there is less supply. They were also the most expensive ticket of the returning franchises in 2020, but not by as significant of a margin as this year. All but Arlington have added one additional price level. Six of the seven teams have $20 as their bottom per-game ticket price, making it $100 to become a season-ticket holder for those seats. This is similar to 2020 which also marketed a low price of $20 per game. St. Louis is the outlier at $25 (Theirs was $20 in 2020). We’re already seeing teams take advantage of that low price on social media in advertising their season tickets.
Another difference from 2020 is which sections of the stadium are counted as part of which pricing section. For example, in Seattle, the most expensive ticket encompasses the same two sections as 2020. But at the next level, $85 per game, eight sections fall into that category in 2023 compared to six sections that were the second-highest price ($75) in 2020. There are 10 sections in the third-highest price level ($75) as compared to eight at the third-highest ($60) in 2020.
In other stadiums, there are fewer sections that are the most expensive as compared to 2020. In St. Louis, the highest-priced ticket covers four sections, the same as 2020. But the second-highest ticket is in just eight sections, as opposed to 10 in 2020. Those numbers are also true of the third-highest. They are the only team that has added two extra pricing structures in 2023 beyond what they had in 2020; most added just one.
Likewise, in Arlington, the top ticket covers five sections, compared to six in 2020. The second-highest ticket is in eight sections instead of 10. Houston’s top ticket covers the same seven sections, but their second-highest ticket, once in 12 sections, are only in 10. In sections 105 and 113 for example, you would’ve paid $75 per game in 2020 for those seats; in 2023, those seats are priced at $65.
Comparing Tampa Bay to Orlando is difficult because Raymond James Stadium had club seating that Camping World Stadium in Orlando does not. Therefore, Orlando has the cheapest top ticket at $75, which is down from the highest-priced ticket in Tampa in 2020, which was $90. There are also fewer price sections in Orlando than there were in Tampa, different than all of the other stadiums that are 1:1 comparisons from 2020, which obviously Tampa and Orlando is not.
San Antonio has no comparison to 2020, but their ticket prices are in line with all of the others: Seven pricing sections, $90 at the top and $20 at the bottom.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, $1 in February 2020 is worth about $1.15 today due to inflation. In other words, those $90 tickets in 2020 should be selling for about $103.50 today. Therefore, that $5 increase we see nearly across the board at the top level is actually consumer-friendly pricing. And keeping $20 as the cheapest ticket is a bargain. In fact, many of the bottom level tickets stayed the same from 2020 to 2023, not just the cheapest: Houston’s three cheapest seats are $20, $30, and $40 per game, the same as 2020; That’s also true of DC, ($20, $30, $40), Seattle ($20, $25, $35), and St. Louis ($20, $30, $35).
While live attendance is not the main driver of revenue for a secondary league like the XFL, it is nevertheless important to draw fans to the stadiums for the money earned from ticket sales (in addition to merchandise and whatever they’ve negotiated for concessions and parking) and the atmosphere sensed by the television audience. The price structure must not be a barrier to entry the way it is in other leagues.
The lowest average ticket price to an NFL game in 2022 is the Detroit Lions, at $244. That will end up being at least five times that of an average XFL ticket. It’s especially important for the league to set reasonable ticket prices when establishing a brand identity in these cities, not having years of fandom to draw from as other leagues do. We can quibble about the prices for 2023, and while there is an increase at the top levels from 2020, the get-in price is still sensible in an era of soaring costs for live sports attendance.