Despite 2-14 Year, Houston Texans Tickets More Expensive in 2014

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The Texans are ready to begin the Bill O’Brien era in Houston after a very disappointing 2013 season.  Last year’s Texans only won two games, despite being one of the more talented teams in the NFL. Gone are the likes of quarterback Matt Schaub and defensive end Antonio Smith who were both traded to Oakland in the offseason.  But there are several new faces that Texans fans are eagerly anticipating to see on the gridiron.

The Texans will have to hope that Ryan Fitzpatrick can hold the fort while they develop one of their younger quarterbacks.  Houston drafted Tom Savage this year in the 4th round (135th overall,) opting to wait for their future signal caller, rather than taking one with the first pick of the draft. Instead, they were able to replace Smith by selecting DE Jadeveon Clowney with the first choice in the draft.  Clowney has been heralded as the best prospect to come out of college in the past generation, with an other-worldly combination of size and speed.

Moreover, with the addition of Clowney to a defensive line that already boats Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt, the Texans defense should be one of the most fearsome in the league and keep opposing quarterbacks up at night.

The Texans have thrived in Houston by virtue of playing in the football crazed state of Texas which has done a great job of accepting and rallying behind the team since they expanded in 2002. So much so that Houston Texans tickets have increased by 30%, $48 to be exact, from last year to $216 for the ever nearing 2014 NFL season.

In reality, this isn’t too much of an increase in price as last year, Texans tickets experienced a substantial drop in price as fans turned away from NRG Stadium amidst the team’s horrendous losing streak that began in Week 3 and extended all the way to the final whistle of the season. But with new faces on both offense and defense, fans will be returning in droves to see this new look team in action.

Here’s a breakdown for Houston Texans tickets for all their home games the approaching season:

9/07 vs Washington Redskins: Avg – $234.53 / Get-in $77

9/28 vs Buffalo Bills: Avg – $174.42 / Get-in – $49

10/09 vs Indianapolis Colts: Avg – $220.65 / Get-in – $66

11/02 vs Philadelphia Eagles: Avg – $234.98 / Get-in – $76

11/23 vs Cincinnati Bengals:Avg – $197.76 / Get-in – $47

11/30 vs Tennessee Titans: Avg – $210.28 / Get-in – $48

12/21 vs Baltimore Ravens: Avg – $239.63 / Get-in – $63

12/28 vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Avg – $213.57 / Get-in – $46

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2014 Saints Tickets Down 8% From Last Season

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The New Orleans Saints are one of the few teams in the National Football League to actually see ticket prices decline in 2014. As a whole, the NFL saw the average ticket price increase by 20% from 2013 to 2014; however, Saints tickets are down by more than 8% from last year to currently average $263.35 for their games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this upcoming season.

This average has shifted downward by more than $20 since the NFL Schedules were released on April 24th, the cheapest on record since winning their first Super Bowl in 2009; excluding the 2012 campaign when the Saints were penalized for the “Bountygate” scandal and were without head coach Sean Payton for the entire season. To illustrate just how much prices have fallen, the cheapest game for New Orleans presently is their Week 5 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In 2013, the Saints vs. Bucs game had an average ticket price of $402, yet this season that average has essentially been cut in half to $204 with a get-in price of $84.

The Saints do have some games on their schedule that are not as discounted, and their October meeting with the Green Bay Packers is one of them. The Packers game clocks in at an average price of $363.63, more than $100 and 27% higher than the normal New Orleans Saints ticket. Their next priciest game comes two weeks later when they return to the Big Easy against the very talented San Francisco 49ers. That game has seen the average ticket price maintain a steady $312. The Saints added some weapons to their already explosive offense in the draft which should make them one of the most exciting teams in the league week in and week out and a competitor to San Francisco and Seattle as the NFC representative in the Super Bowl.

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Atlanta Falcons Tickets Still Expensive Following 4-12 Year

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The Atlanta Falcons never had back to back winning seasons, but that was before they had a quarterback like Matt Ryan. Since drafting Ryan 3rd overall out of Boston College in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Falcons have been able to run off five consecutive winning seasons. After coming within a few minutes of going to the Super Bowl in 2012, last year the Falcons struggled mightily and it was the first year under Ryan that they failed to have a winning record, going a dismal 4-12.

While Ryan certainly did not have a banner year, it’s hard for anyone to play quarterback while on your back. In total, Ryan was hit 100 times on the season and the fifth most in the entire league which led Atlanta to completely revamp its line by signing guard Jon Asamoah and drafting tackle Jake Matthews 6th overall in this year’s draft. Now that Ryan should have some more time to operate, he should have no problem finding one of his large targets like Roddy White and Julio Jones.

With the Falcons biggest problem seemingly fixed, fans are very excited about their chances to rebound and see Atlanta return to the postseason yet again. In order to do that, the Falcons will have some pretty tough obstacles in their way and are also handicapped in the sense that they only play seven games in their home stadium due to the fact that they will technically be the “home” team when they play the Detroit Lions on October 26th at historic Wembley Stadium in London. This is the priciest game the Falcons play all season long at an average price of $354 for Atlanta Falcons tickets and a get-in price of $123.

For their actual home games in the Georgia Dome, Falcons tickets will go for $159 on average, up by $45 over their home average of $115 last year. Of their home games, none are more expensive than their matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers at an average price of $227. The Falcons and Steelers have gone into overtime against each of the last three times they played so fans purchasing tickets for that game may be in line for some extra football. The Falcons have some other intriguing matchups on their schedule, such as their game against the Chicago Bears (Avg – $195, Get-in $53), New Orleans Saints (Avg – $192, Get-in $54) as well as Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns (Avg – $117, Get-in $23.)  Falcons fans certainly have several exciting matchups to choose to see this year.

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LA Dodgers Tickets 2nd Cheapest Average Price of All MLB Teams

Kershaw Spring Training

The Los Angeles Dodgers have high hopes this season after going to the 2013 National League Championship Series and falling just short of the World Series, losing in six to the St. Louis Cardinals. With increased expectations have come increased prices for Dodger tickets, as the average ticket price has gone up 20% from 2013.  Currently, the average ticket price is $60.80 compared to 2013′s average of $50.62. Nonetheless, the Dodgers still rank amongst the cheapest in the league despite playing in the second largest market in the United States.

An interesting note to the Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 season is that all five of their most expensive remaining games take place in the month of September. Moreover three of the top five are all from the same series, their last series of the regular season against the Colorado Rockies.

This series begins on September 26th and currently Dodgers tickets are going for $85.66.  With that ticket, fans will be able to enjoy a postgame fireworks show. The following day, tickets go up to $86, but a get-in of only $8. The highest average ticket price for any game this season is their final game of the year and Fan Appreciation Day on the 28th. Tickets are almost 40% higher than the next closest game this season and one of the main reasons why tickets may be higher is, oddly enough, a Babe Ruth bobblehead giveaway that day, even though Ruth never played for the Dodgers. However, Ruth was with the team for one lone season as their first base coach in 1938 when they were still known as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The final game to crack the Los Angeles Dodgers Top 3 games of the season is their August 5th tilt intrastate rival the Los Angeles Angels. This game is the third most expensive game of the season with an average ticket price of $86.73 will also be Cap Day at the ballpark. Another game of note is Tuesday, September 2nd when the Dodgers host the Nationals. This game has the added bonus of featuring a bobblehead giveaway of Los Angeles Laker legend and minority owner of the Dodgers Magic Johnson.

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OKC Thunder Western Conference Finals Ticket Prices Suggest Ibaka will be Back by Game 6

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Remember when it took a torn right meniscus for everyone to realize that Russell Westbrook was Russell Westbrook, a ultra-talented basketball player whose energy on the court shook the building and lit up his teammates (no bias here at all). A sidekick and teammate that didn’t hold KD back but actually made the Thunder the dominant force they have been in the Western Conference. In a way, the injury was the best thing that could have happened to Westbrook’s reputation and the worst thing that could have happened OKC fans.

Well, fortunately and unfortunately it’s Serge Ibaka’s turn to have his value recognized. The unheralded power forward suffered a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris muscle in his left calf in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers and was expected to miss the remainder of the postseason (today, he was upgraded to day-to-day with a possibility of returning during the series). After sweeping the Spurs in the regular season, it seemed that the Thunder had the best chance at interrupting San Antonio’s “mission” to become NBA Champions. Instead, the Thunder look helpless inside without “I-Block-a’s” defensive presence and find themselves in a hole, down 0-2 in the Western Conference Finals.

Raise your hand if you thought it was a huge mistake that the Thunder chose to retain Serge Ibaka and trade James Harden after their Finals run in 2012? I’m guessing a majority of us did. And, while the team would have been incredible had they been able to keep both players, decisions involving money had to be made. OKC chose to sign Ibaka long-term because he provided a difference skill-set that better complimented Westbrook and Durant.

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Patriots Are Top Draw for Colts Tickets in 2014

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The Colts appear set for the future with Andrew Luck who has become one of the premier young quarterbacks in the league since being drafted first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck had some extremely big shoes to fill in Indy, taking over the vacant position left by all-time great Peyton Manning, but he has more than filled them as he literally quarterbacked his team to one of the biggest comebacks in NFL Playoff history last season against the Kansas City Chiefs, overcoming a 28 point second half deficit.  By virtue of this, Luck has already solidified himself as one of the best in the NFL, breaking records with each opportunity and becoming a better football player in the process.

One major problem the Colts have to deal with for the upcoming season will be the controversial loss of DE Robert Mathis who has been suspended for a violation of the leagues PED policy. This is something Mathis has never discredited only stating that he was using the banned substance as a fertility booster to help impregnate his wife and give his ailing mother a grandchild before she passes. Mathis had a career high 19.5 sacks leading the league a season ago and his loss will be a strong blow to the Colts pass rush, especially in the Colts top game of the season against the New England Patriots.

Without Mathis, the Colts will have a much more difficult time putting pressure on Tom Brady in this game.  If you’re looking to grab Colts tickets to see them face off against Brady, the average price is currently $232 per ticket but Colts fans can get-in to the game for as little as just $80. For the season, Colts tickets are averaging $159, one of the more reasonable home averages in the entire NFL. The cheapest game comes against the Jacksonville Jaguars, going for 23% less than their home average at a price of $122 for tickets to the Week 12 meeting.

Other notable games for the Colts this season are their November 30th meeting with the Washington Redskins which will be the first time Luck will face off against the player picked right behind him in the draft, Robert Griffin III. These two quarterbacks will forever be linked together and compared to one another long after their playing days are over. In this first ever meeting, tickets are currently averaging $181, 13% higher than the normal Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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No Landon Donovan: Reactions from Soccer Community on USA 23-Man World Cup Roster

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Wow! Well there was some expectation it might happen but it’s still a major shock and no one expected it to happen this quickly. Yes, America, Landon Donovan has been left off the 23-man roster that will now prepare together and travel to Brazil to represent the Stars and Stripes in the always-anticipated World Cup.

The range of early emotions includes shock, anger, surprise, doubt, sadness and even happiness. For me it is definitely a shock. Yes Donovan has not been the LD that was the best US player…ever. However, he has special skills and abilities that not many other US players have, skills which can be vital and utilized, as long as he is on that squad in Brazil. But Jürgen Klinsmann and his staff have decided that it’s not to be and unfortunately for Donovan he misses out on his 4th World Cup…and maybe concludes a Hall-of-Fame US Soccer career.

But wait! What is that you say about injuries? It’s not inconceivable an injury might occur to a US player that will take them out of the equation before the tournament starts. Who then gets the call? For me, unless it’s a GK or defender that next person is LD…unless he falls apart due to this omission…that will be yet another tough decision Klinsmann will have to ponder and make if it comes to it.

But let’s look at all the players.

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Cheapest Yankees Tickets For Jeter’s Home Finale Still Above $150

Derek Jeter Yankees

The New York Yankees are consistently one of the best teams in the MLB but are also consistently one of the most expensive teams in the league as well. This season Yankees tickets are significantly higher than in years past which can be attributed to the fact that this will be Captain Derek Jeter’s 20th and final season wearing the iconic pinstripes. As a result of this announcement, Yankees tickets have increased by 45% from a season ago when they averaged $95 even though they managed to miss the playoffs for only the second time since 1996.

This year, Yankees tickets have skyrocketed all they way up to an average ticket price of $139 for their home games. The most expensive game by far for the Yankees – and the most expensive game this season for any MLB game – is Derek Jeter’s final regular season game at Yankee Stadium on September 25th against the Baltimore Orioles. Tickets are currently averaging an astronomical price of $530 with the cheapest ticket at $157.

What’s noteworthy about the Yankees top games of the season is that none of them come against their traditional rival, the Boston Red Sox. In fact, the Red Sox barely even crack the top ten while only three against Boston make the list of the 30 most expensive games of the season moving forward for the Bronx Bombers. On the other hand, of the priciest Boston Red Sox games this season, the top six all come against the New York Yankees averaging $308 for tickets in those six contests.

Below you can find a breakdown of the top five most expensive games of the season for New York:

1) 9/25 vs. Baltimore Orioles: Avg. = $529.29, Get-in = $157 (Derek Jeter’s Final Home Game)

2) 8/26 vs. Chicago White Sox: Avg. = $259.38, Get-in = $28 (Joe Torre jersey retirement)

3) 9/21 vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Avg. = $256.89, Get-in = $47 (Kids Beanie Baby)

4) 9/20 vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Avg. = $217.02, Get-in = $28

5) 9/23 vs. Baltimore Orioles: Avg. = $183.19, Get-in = $21

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Belmont Stakes Tickets 2014: Triple Crown Coronation or California Dreaming?

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 12.09.22 PMThis year’s run for the Triple Crown is confirmation that in the world of sports, the best stories are the Cinderella ones. Belmont Stakes, the third and final jewel in the hunt for Thoroughbred Racing’s Triple Crown, presents the most interesting field of contenders we’ve seen in the past few years, highlighted by one horse who’s made a lot of something out of next-to-nothing.

Newbie owners bred the latest Triple Crown hopeful, California Chrome, at a cut-rate cost of $10,000. The colt’s humble West Coast origins muddle him with less-than-prestigious, or rather non-Kentucky, horses and label him as an “outsider.” His trainer, Art Sherman, is a 77-year-old relative unknown former jockey who has never entered in a Triple Crown race. His jockey, Victor Espinoza, curiously overcame his fear of horses by mastering the art of riding them. And let’s not forget that the New York Racing Association nearly barred California Chrome from entering Belmont per the use of equine nasal strips, giving the racing community a painful case of déjà vu via I’ll Have Another’s prematurely terminated endeavor of 2012.

Perhaps it’s because the favored horse started out as more of a pauper than a prince, but Belmont Stakes tickets are a bargain deal in 2014. This may change quicker than a furlong race, however, as tickets prices are on the incline since the chestnut’s nasal strip approval, assuring fans that Chrome has the green light to clinch one of the most revered triumphs in all of sports.

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Braves Tickets Pricey for Upcoming Red Sox Series

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The Atlanta Braves are one of the more intriguing teams in the National League in 2014. The current leader in the NL East by a game and a half over Washington, the Braves are among the worst hitting teams in the entire MLB ranking near the bottom in runs, on base percentage and batting average. In all three of these categories, the Braves rank 25th or lower which brings up the question of how can they be so poor at the plate but still the best in their division?

The answer is of course 60 feet away on the pitching mound. From there, the Braves are the best in all of baseball, having a total team ERA of just 2.82 nearly one entire point lower than the Major League average of 3.81. Leading the charge for Atlanta is upstart Julio Teheran who has an incredible 2.20 ERA on the season going 2-3 so far at the young age of just 23.

Teheran is just one of a slew of talented young players on the Braves who will be the foundation of this team for years to come with players like Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons among others. These players have allowed for the Braves to be one of the top teams in the league over the past few seasons which in turn has caused prices for Braves tickets to increase by 30% for the 2014 season.

Currently, the average ticket price for all Braves home games is $69.  The top five most expensive games for the Braves this season are all well above Atlanta’s season average, ranging anywhere from $89 to $115. Next week, the Braves will welcome the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox to Turner Field. Th series features two of the three most expensive games of the year for Atlanta. The first game of the series takes place Monday and is the hottest ticket of the season at Turner Field with an average ticket price of $115. Tuesday’s game is the third most expensive at an average price of $96.

If you’re looking to see the Braves play, as well as some additional entertainment, Atlanta’s three other most expensive games of the year will be able to provide that. On August 30th, the game against the Marlins is their annual US Navy Celebration and fourth most expensive game at Turner Field with an average price of $94, but a very low get-in price of just $6.

Rounding out the top five games of the season is the Braves September 19th and 20th matchups against the Mets. September 19th’s game (average price of $93) will feature post-game fireworks and then a day later the Future Stars Night (average ticket price of $94) will take place.  Luckily for Braves fans, there’s no shortage of talent and entertainment on and off the ballpark at Turner Field this year so make sure to buy Braves tickets now!

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