Super Bowl the Ticket Most Coveted by Sports Fans

by Darren K. Carlson

Public favors Giants over Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- On the landscape of sports championship games, the Super Bowl reigns supreme in the eyes of sports fans. The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asked fans to choose among six major sporting events, and 40% said they would most like tickets to the Super Bowl. Baseball's World Series followed, with 18% of fans choosing this event, and the four other events -- the men's college basketball finals, college football's national championship game, professional basketball's NBA finals, and hockey's Stanley Cup finals -- were chosen by 13% or fewer of sports fans interviewed.

It may be easy for Americans to dream of attending these major sporting events, but in reality, tickets are quite expensive. The officially reported cost of tickets to last year's Super Bowl in Atlanta ranged between $325 and $400, and online auction sites currently have ads asking thousands of dollars for tickets to this year's Super Bowl in Tampa. So, how much does the public say it would be willing to pay for tickets to the Super Bowl? The answers to that question show that many Americans wouldn't be willing to pay anything to go -- about six out of ten Americans said they wouldn't be interested in going at any price. Still, 13% said they would be willing to pay between $100 and $500. Another 9% said they would pay $100, and 6% said $50. Only 1% of those saying they were interested in attending would be willing to pay more than $500.

Among those who say they are fans of professional football, the willingness to pay for tickets increases somewhat. Thirteen percent of football fans say they would pay $100 for a ticket, and 20% say they would pay between $100 and $500. But $500 seems to be a pretty clear threshold, as only 2% of fans say they would pay more than that amount for tickets to the Super Bowl.

More of the Public Pulling for, and Predicting a Victory for, the Giants
The New York Giants will apparently have more fans pulling for them on Super Bowl Sunday than will the Baltimore Ravens. Fifty-two percent of pro football fans say they would like to see the Giants win the game, compared to 37% who say they would like to see the Ravens win. Nine percent of fans express no preference for a team.

The January 15-16 Gallup poll also asked pro football fans who they thought would win, regardless of which team they favor, and here the Giants do even better. Fifty-seven percent of football fans think the Giants will win, compared to 35% who predict a Ravens victory. The American public (including everyone, football fan or not) also picks the Giants over the Ravens, 55% to 26%. The public's track record for selecting the eventual winner is a fairly sound one. In the five previous years that Gallup has asked this question, the public has predicted the winner four times. The lone exception was the Denver Broncos' upset win over the Green Bay Packers in 1998.

The selection of the Giants also bucks a trend in the American public's predictions. Every other time Gallup has asked this question (1992, 1994, 1998, 1999 and 2000) the public has predicted that the team favored by the point spread would win. During the January 15-16 period, when this survey was conducted, the Giants were a two-and-a-half-point underdog to the Ravens. Several reasons could account for this change in the public's prediction habits. The first would be the Giants' high profile compared to the Ravens' relative anonymity. Based in the nation's largest metropolitan area, the Giants have a market that is significantly larger than the Ravens' market. Also, the Ravens franchise lacks history in its present location. The franchise was created in 1996 when the old Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore. One other possible reason for the public's prediction: the decisive way in which the Giants entered the Super Bowl, winning the NFC championship game overwhelmingly (41-0) over the Minnesota Vikings.

Who Are Professional Football Fans?
The Super Bowl has become an "event" in American culture. Many Americans throw parties on game day, and some tune in just to watch the often innovative and fun advertisements. Super Bowl ratings, in terms of viewership, are consistently some of the highest of any televised event or program. In reality, less than half of Americans (44%) say they are real fans of professional football, a percentage that has been fairly consistent over the last three years. Pro football fans are more likely to be male (56%) than female (33%) and are more likely to live in urban (46%) or suburban (46%) areas than in rural ones (38%).

After the Game …
Much has been made of the fact that the premiere of the sequel to "Survivor," set in the Australian outback, follows the Super Bowl. In July 2000, Gallup asked about the first edition of "Survivor." At that time, 45% of Americans said they either "loved" or "liked" television shows that observe people in real-life situations, while 48% said they either "disliked" or "hated" such programs. Also, when offered the choice between competing on an island (the original "Survivor" premise) and living in a house where every action is videotaped and broadcast (the premise of "Big Brother") as ways of earning a million dollars, Americans said they preferred the island, 48% to 34%.

Survey Methods

The results below are based on telephone interviews with randomly selected national samples of 1,055 and 1,001 adults, 18 years and older, conducted January 15-16, 2001 and July 6-9, 2000 respectively. For results based on these samples, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

In general, would you describe yourself as a sports fan, or not?

 

 

Yes, sports fan

No, not a fan

No opinion

       

2001 Jan 15-16

58%

42

*

       

2000 Apr 28-30

62%

37

1



Which of the following major national sporting events would you most like to get a ticket to -- [ROTATED: pro football's Super Bowl, baseball's World Series, hockey's Stanley Cup finals, college basketball's men's finals, pro basketball's NBA finals, (or) the college football bowl game that determines the national champion]?

 

Based on National Adults

2000 Jan 15-16

Pro football's Super Bowl

34%

Baseball's World Series

20

College basketball's men's finals

11

Pro basketball's NBA finals

11

The college football bowl game that determines the national champion

10

Hockey's Stanley Cup finals

7

No opinion

7



 

Based on -- 613 -- Sports Fans; ±4 Pct. Pts.

2000 Jan 15-16

Pro football's Super Bowl

40%

Baseball's World Series

18

College basketball's men's finals

13

The college football bowl game that determines the national champion

11

Pro basketball's NBA finals

10

Hockey's Stanley Cup finals

7

No opinion

1



How much would you be willing to pay for a Super Bowl ticket, or do you have no interest in going to the Super Bowl?

 

2000 Jan 15-16

Less than $25

2%

$25-49

4

$50

6

$51-99

2

$100

9

$101-500

13

More than $500

1

No interest in going to the Super Bowl

58

No opinion

5

Mean

$76.30



Which team would you like to see win this year's Super Bowl game -- [ROTATED: Baltimore Ravens (or) New York Giants]?

 

 


Baltimore Ravens


New York Giants


NO PREFERENCE (vol.)

DON'T FOLLOW FOOTBALL (vol.)


No
opinion

           

National Adults

         

2001 Jan 15-16

32%

48

15

4

1

           

Pro Football Fans ^

         

2001 Jan 15-16

37%

52

9

1

1

           

^

N=616; ±4 percentage points



Regardless of whom you favor, which team do you think will win?

 

 


Baltimore Ravens


New York Giants


NO PREFERENCE (vol.)

DON'T FOLLOW FOOTBALL (vol.)


No
opinion

           

National Adults

         

2001 Jan 15-16

26%

55

5

7

7

           

Pro Football Fans ^

         

2001 Jan 15-16

35%

57

3

2

3

           

^

N=616; ±4 percentage points



Are you a fan of professional football, or not?

 

Yes, a fan

SOMEWHAT
OF A FAN (vol.)

No, not a fan

No opinion

%

%

%

%

2001 Jan 15-16

44

14

42

*

2000 Aug 24-27

42

12

46

*

1999 Mar 5-7

47

9

44

0

1999 Jan 22-24

51

10

39

*

1998 Jan 16-18

45

11

43

1



If you had to choose between the following two ways to win a million dollars on a TV show, which would you choose? Would you choose [ROTATED: (1) to compete among strangers on an island for survival or (2) choose to live in a house with a group of people for three months where everything you do is videotaped and broadcast on TV]?

 

 

Compete on an island

Live in a house

No opinion

       

2000 Jul 6-9

48%

34

18



How do you feel about television shows that are based on observing people in real life situations. Do you love, like, dislike, or hate these types of shows?

 

 



Love



Like



Dislike



Hate

BOTH/
NEITHER (vol.)



No opinion

             

2000 Jul 6-9

4%

41

34

14

3

4



(vol.) Volunteered response
* Less than 0.5%

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