A few weeks ago, my husband and I were out walking the dog and discussing the NFL lockout. What we’d miss, how crappy it was to come back from the NHL lockout as a fan, what we thought was wrong with both the owners and the pla… No, just the owners side.

As we were talking I asked, “I wonder how much money we’ll save if there isn’t football this fall.”

“At least a thousand or so bucks,” Bry guessed.

So I decided to figure out the rough amount, based on our home viewing and entertaining, going out to the bar once or twice a season for a game, usually attending one road Steeler game if they’re on the West Coast, buying a few new t-shirts, headbands, novelties and so on.

$3,709.89 by my rough calculation, and I’m sure that amount is low (*cough*only $50 a week in snacks for us and our guests*cough*). That’s just an average season not including any playoff trips for us — don’t ask what that number was, nor does it include the value of the number of hours devoted to watching, talking about and writing about the NFL.

Some line items made our football experience pretty expensive. DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket sticks out as being a bit pricey, as does traveling to at least one game which means buying tickets on the overinflated secondary market. Our friend’s pick’em league is another, which in all these years we’ve never won. Really, the whole gambling section is a loss for us, but I am sure there are some who do much better than we do. Then again, we’re not season ticket holders and don’t have tailgating costs to think about, so I’m guessing our spending falls at the higher end of the middle-spenders.

Want to figure out how much you may save if there is an NFL lockout?

Select “Click to edit” and the tab for “Lockout Savings Blank Template” to enter your own spending habits. Use the average amount you spend on any one item and enter the number of times a season you spend that amount. I’ve also posted our spreadsheet data as a guide to follow if you need it.

I didn’t include items like a new TV which are often included in fan spending, mostly because I view electronics as a whole home purchase. That same logic lead me exclude our Sirius/XM subscription, which while is great for football, isn’t the only thing we use it for. But if you want to include those, feel free to add it in.

Don’t worry, I cannot see what you enter and none of this data is being saved anywhere. But please, feel free to say in the comments what your total savings came out to be and what you might do with your newly found money this fall if there is a lockout.


I’m thinking of Hawaii or maybe doing something responsible like putting it all into our retirement fund.

(Sorry I couldn’t freeze the frames on the top of the sheet. For some reason it wasn’t working with this ZOHO sheet, and they offer the best online spreadsheets for public use in separate sessions. Let me know if you think there are any additional line items I left out that should be there.  Edit 9/12/12 – Top frame frozen.)

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11 Responses to How much will you save if there is an NFL lockout?

  1. Illex says:

    Honestly, it’d probably be maybe two hundred dollars at most, because I don’t spend much football related money anyways and any money such as drinks/food at a bar to watch games would just be spent on college football viewing.

    I also live in my teams town (at the moment) and I usually only go to games if I get free tickets from someone, so that’s a lot of money right there.

    • sarah sprague says:

      I imagine there is going to be some very wide swings in spending. One response on Twitter was about $5K, which seemed high, then I remembered they were a season ticket holder.

  2. Jeff Nye says:

    I’m thinking about 600 dollars. That’s for Sunday Ticket, a pair of tickets and concessions for when the Browns visit Cincinnati, and a pair of tickets and concessions for one home game in Cleveland. Travel to/from Cleveland not included because we’d make the trip to see family anyway. I think only a small portion of that would be offset by us spending money other ways for Sunday afternoon entertainment — with a 2-yr old all the museum and zoo memberships, etc., are paid for anyway.

  3. […] The following post is reprinted in its entirety with permission by SarahSprague.com. […]

  4. mv says:

    Great article.
    Lockout savings –> approx. $3,500. Still have to pay my PSL installment though…brutal.

    • sarah sprague says:

      PSL fee during the lockout? That’s beyond brutal. That’s cruel and unusual punishment.

  5. Matt says:

    You didn’t carry over souvenirs or concessions in game day attendance, so your math is a little off. I think that money spent is reflective of how good your team is also. Good idea.

    • sarah sprague says:

      Damn! You’re right! My now corrected amount is $3,709.89. Thanks for catching that.

  6. […] Want to feel better about there potentially not being a 2011 NFL season? Take a look at how much money you’d save! […]

  7. This kind of shout is the best kind of shout. Thanks. Which is why I have to note that while I’ve had some good runs and a really good ’09, I’d have saved PLENTY if the lockout would have started last fall. Ups and downs, you know. Anyway, here’s to nobody saving anything.

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