Misc.

The 5 Ways Sports Fans Get Screwed Over Daily

Being a sports fan and being a ceiling fan are essentially the same thing. Day after day, you go round and round, stuck in the same cycle, helpless to change your situation. You can’t throw the ball, shoot the ball, slap the puck, toss the pigskin — we’re all just watching nervously, praying our teams don’t blow it.

We know we’re signing up for 99% (at best) disappointment as fans, but corruption has pervaded our pastimes that we haven’t bargained for, and that needs to change. Here are the ways we get screwed the hardest…

5. Taxpayer-Funded Stadiums

Don’t you love when billionaires steal from us to make themselves more money? Awesome system. We detailed the 14 worst taxpayer-funded stadiums, but the fact that cities are still rationalizing handing hundreds of millions of dollars to billionaires to fund these projects isn’t just absurd, it’s theft. Taxpayers in Milwaukee (Bucks), Atlanta (Braves), Miami (Marlins), and now Las Vegas (Raiders) are forking over billions to build these edifices, meaning that the richest of the one percent are stealing a few bucks daily from us commoners…




4. Cable Blackouts

You know who doesn’t care about fans? Cable companies. The Justice Department brought an antitrust lawsuit against DirecTV, claiming that executives for the satellite giant colluded with AT&T, Cox, and Charter to ensure that Dodgers games were blacked out for hundreds of thousands of Southern Californians during the final years of the Vin Scully era.

On a national scale, MLB’s ridiculous blackout rules still divvy up fans into broadcast buckets that make it impossible for many of them to watch their favorite team play, despite forking over $112 per year. We only have enough time for one blackout in our day, and we’re not here to talk about our mezcal addiction…




3. Terrible Officiating

Most officials are honest, hard-working servants of the game. The best referees and umpires, more often than not, are the ones you don’t know. But every league has major issues with officiating. The NFL still doesn’t know what a catch is…

Major League Baseball still lets old men call balls and strikes instead of PITCHf/x




NBA refs? There aren’t enough GIFs in the known universe to summarize their inadequacies, but here’s a twelve-step travel as an example…

Officiating is a difficult problem to fix, but there’s a misconception that the leagues aren’t a huge part of the problem. The NBA and NFL constantly change their rule books to make the games more easily manipulable, and MLB routinely alters its strike zone to ensure that nobody has any clue what constitutes a ball strike.

In any sport, fans only ask for consistency when it comes to calls. The current system makes uniformity virtually impossible…




2. Concession Prices

While some stadiums lure you in with four-dollar beers and two-dollar dogs, most teams rake fans over the coals when it comes to peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Oracle Arena charges almost $30 for a hot dog and a large beer. The average small beer at an NBA game? Somewhere in the vicinity of $8.50. Taking a family of four to the ballgame in most cities requires taking out a second mortgage, and that just ain’t right.

Props to teams like the Falcons who are offering reasonable concession prices and making it possible for non-rich people to enjoy watching their team almost win the Super Bowl…




1. Online Ticketing

In 2016, bots tried to buy five billion (yes, billion) tickets on Ticketmaster’s website. That’s 10,000 tickets a minute. President Obama signed the Better Online Ticket Sales Act before leaving office — a piece of legislation that allows the government to intervene on behalf of patrons who are unable to buy tickets because of bots — but that’s highly unlikely to deter bot operators who buy up primo seats and sell them for exorbitant prices on secondary ticketing sites (i.e. StubHub).

If the bots didn’t exist, we’d be able to attend our favorite sporting events for significantly cheaper, but they do, which means reserving a place to park your buttocks at a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event costs an exorbitant amount of dough…

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