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Editorial: Bears know they have a seller’s market

Updated: March 10, 2013 6:18AM

We read in Sports that ticket prices for a Chicago Bears game are creeping up again, this time by about $4.50.

The average price for a seat this fall will be a whopping $115.57.

We could say we’re shocked, but we’re not. We wised up years ago, about when the Bears insisted on all those fancy skyboxes. A Bears game at Soldier Field is as much a corporate retreat as a sporting event.

We could say ticket prices are too high, but the market says otherwise. If anything, the Bears could jack up prices even more and still sell out every game. Last season, according to the financial news website 24/7 Wall St., Bears tickets resold for 25 to 100 percent of face value, for an average of almost $220 on the secondary market.

We could say people who spend that kind of money to see a football game are nuts, but that would be snooty. Who’s to say that Bears ticket holders, wealthy or scraping by, are any crazier than people who spend hundreds of dollars to go to the Lyric Opera or to dine at an exclusive restaurant?

We could say that every bump up in the price of a Bears ticket reminds us of the essential truth about professional football: It’s basically a TV show.

Actually, we will say that.

About 62,000 people attend each Bears game, but millions watch on TV. Over 1 million television sets in the Chicago area are tuned to every Bears game, and TV ratings for the competing team’s hometown tend to get a boost, too. Think of those 62,000 fans at the game as the studio audience.

The irony of the Bears is that many fans, no doubt the great majority, have been to only a handful of games, if to any at all.

We could say Chicago has room for a second professional football team.

We definitely could say that.

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