Be a Part of the Action
Most NFL stadiums have room for about 70,000 people. Being one of those 70,000, all cheering at the top of their lungs for the home team to win, is an experience that you will treasure for a long time. If you get a chance to go, be sure to look around you, see everything that is happening, and really savor the trip.
Ticket prices for NFL games are very, very high. It costs an average of $75 for just one ticket to one game, and that's for an average ticket in an average-priced stadium. A premium ticket to a New England Patriots game costs more than $500!
To get tickets, go to NFL.com and click “tickets.” Then click on the team whose game you want to go to. You'll read how to purchase the tickets you want. Most NFL tickets are sold as season tickets. To get a season ticket, you pay the team for 10 tickets, and you get to sit in the same seat for all eight regular season home games and for the two preseason home games.
Very often, it's just impossible to buy tickets for a team's games. The tickets were sold years in advance. For example, the Arizona Cardinals not only sell all their season tickets every year, they also have thousands of people on a waiting list. So how can you go to a game?
Words to Know
TAILGATING: A tailgate party is a picnic in the stadium parking lot before a game. This can be as simple as eating some sandwiches out of a cooler while sitting on the back of your car. Elaborate tailgaters bring lawn chairs, big grills, and four-course meals. Part of the fun is being with all the other tailgating fans of your team. Bring extra food to share, and you'll meet some interesting folks!
The other way to go is to find a friend or relative who has season tickets. Sometimes, season ticket holders can't go to all the games, so they'll give away (or sell at face value) their seats to one or two games. Some teams have online ticket exchanges. You won't be able to schedule your game very far in advance, but you might be able to grab a couple of tickets a few days before the game.
Be careful—don't buy an NFL ticket from someone you don't know and trust Most teams do not allow tickets to be sold for more than face value. Furthermore, tickets that look real might be fake. Tickets have bar codes on them that tell the computer who bought the ticket. If your ticket doesn't check out with the computer, you won't be allowed in.
At the Game
Before you go, ask someone or look online for advice about getting to the stadium With 70,000 people trying to cram into one building, crowds can get huge and lines can get long. Find out where to park and if there's a better way to get to the stadium than by car.
Also, read up on stadium rules about what you can bring with you It makes sense to bring a backpack containing things like bottles of water, sunscreen, a poncho, a hat, sunglasses. You can carry your souvenirs home in the backpack, too. But before you go, be sure your backpack and everything in it is allowed in the stadium.
You don't have to wear a Halloween-style costume to an NFL game, but it is sometimes fun. Look at the fans around the stadium. Many will be wearing team jerseys, of course. But a few will have elaborate outfits with special hats or painted faces. Dressing up adds to the fun!
NFL games go on in 100-degree heat as well as in heavy snow. Check the forecast ahead of time, and bring anything you think you might need. It's better to have a pair of gloves in your pack that you never use than to spend three hours at the game with frozen hands, wishing you had brought the gloves!
The game will definitely be exciting, causing you and all the fans to cheer, yell, scream, and jump out of your seats. That's exactly what's supposed to happen! Be sure to be considerate of others while you're cheering, though. You—and the other fans—don't need to use foul language, throw things, or be obnoxious to fans of the visiting team Cheer as loud as you can for your team, but don't be rude and ruin someone else's experience.
Watch for parts of the game you can't see on TV. You'll notice parts of football that the narrow television screen can't show you. Before the game and during half-time, walk around. Most stadiums have murals, statues, or wall hangings honoring the team's history.
Talk to some fans in the concession line and find out where they're from, what they know about the team, and how long they've been fans. You're at an NFL game, one of the greatest possible American cultural experiences.