Despite their middling record over the last four years, the Cowboys remain one of the top road draws in the league. Vivid Seats, a secondary-ticket marketplace, just released a report about which NFL teams are the best and worst road draws of the 2014 season. Their data shows that the Dallas Cowboys are the fifth biggest road draw in the NFL, increasing ticket prices by an average of 38.3% as the road opponent, which ranks them just ahead of the Tom Brady-led Patriots (+37.7%) and behind the DeMarcus Ware-enhanced Broncos (38.6%). The 49ers (+44.9%), Steelers (+44.0%) and Packers (+40.6%) are the top three teams this year. Of note, these are the same six teams that topped the list last year, albeit in a slightly different order.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are the worst road draw in the league, decreasing ticket prices by -21.5% as the visiting team. The Cardinals (-21.4%) and Buccaneers (-19.4%) follow as the least sought after road opponents. Here's the full list:
One interesting aspect about this data is that half of the top six road draws remain strong draws despite their records: The Steelers finished their second consecutive season with an 8-8 record, the Packers were one tied game away from an 8-8 record, and the Cowboys, well, we all know about the Cowboys.
Last week, we looked at how ticket prices for Cowboys home games are up by 12% versus last year. And although that post used a different data source than this one, the data matches what we're seeing here today: Despite being on the receiving end of much public ridicule and being the subject of gleeful reports about a decline in interest for America's Team, fans across the NFL are willing to pay a premium to see the Cowboys. Here are the average prices for the Cowboys' road games.
I'm not certain why Titans fans are willing to pay almost twice as much as their median ticket price to see the Cowboys, but the game being the season opener in Tennessee probably has something to do with it.
The data in the table above doesn't just show the percentage increase, but also shows the median ticket prices for each game. And that median ticket price is another factor to consider when looking at the biggest road draws in the league, if for no other reason than that it's much harder to show a big percentage increase if your prices are already some of the highest in the league. Here at the top ten and bottom ten teams in terms of median road ticket prices:
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Obviously, we need to keep in mind that the data here is from the secondary ticket market, and many games are sold weeks or even months in advance. As such, the secondary ticket prices necessarily reflect the supply and demand on the market, but do not reflect the pricing policy of NFL teams. Also, fees for parking, suites, luxury boxes, and the London games have been excluded from the data.
So what we're left with is the certainty that much to the chagrin of many a talking head, the Cowboys remain one of the most popular teams in the league - despite three consecutive 8-8 finishes. And that's confirmed week after week by fans who fork over their hard-earned cash to see the Dallas Cowboys, perhaps because they like them, perhaps because they hate them, but never because they're indifferent.