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Harris Blackwood: At these prices, watching from home is just the ticket
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

In 1977, I went to see Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser and Jessi Coulter in a concert in the Omni coliseum in Atlanta. The ticket, which was in the upper level, set me back $8.50.

A couple of years later, The Eagles were coming to town and the price of a ticket was $15.

“Nobody is going to pay that much to go to a concert,” I said to a friend. I was wrong.

Last year, a modified group of The Eagles came to Philips Arena. The cheapest ticket was in the nosebleed section and cost about $375. The concert did not include Glenn Frey, who had died.

I continue to be amazed at what people pay to go to various events.

Last year, the average price for a ticket to see the Falcons in the Super Bowl was $5,452. This year’s tickets have fallen 25 percent, but are still $6,777. That’s a lot of money.

I’m no expert on pricing, but I feel confident in saying you could buy a really nice flat-screen TV and some of those fancy leather seats with cup holders.

The game will be played in Minneapolis, which is a very nice town, particularly in the summer. The average high temperature in Minneapolis in January is 23 degrees. The average low is 7, above zero. It is being played in US Bank stadium, which is indoors. If you are going, I hope you have a big coat.

The other thing that bothers me about going to concerts and sporting events is the number of people who have too much to drink. I have been to events where loudmouth drunks impair my ability to watch the event I have paid good money to see.

In 1977, gasoline was usually somewhere between 50 and 60 cents a gallon. According to an inflation calculator, that 60-cent gallon of gasoline should now cost about $2.63. We are a few cents to the good, according to current prices.

That ticket for Willie and his friends should now cost $35. We are not doing so well in that arena, pardon the pun.

The ticket to the first Super Bowl in 1967 cost $10 and it was not a sell-out. Trumpeter Al Hirt, accompanied by the Arizona State and Grambling State University bands, provided the halftime entertainment.

I realize that $10 in 1967 is not the same as $10 today. But it is a far cry from $6,777.

My cousin, Mike, took me to Six Flags on the day it opened in 1967. I think admission was $2.50 and a Coke was 40 cents. My mother thought that was highway robbery. A few years later, I went with a cousin to what was then just Walt Disney World in Orlando. A junior ticket was about $4 and only provided access to a certain number of rides. I think the whole day was about $15. Again, Mama suffered from a case of sticker shock.

So, in the event that the Falcons should advance to the hometown Super Bowl in Atlanta next year, I will be watching from my easy chair.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page.

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