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Why Are NFL Tickets So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

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The popularity of football has grown along with the ticket prices.

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In 1985, the average ticket price for the New England Patriots was $15.60, compared to $131.45 in 2021.

Why are NFL tickets so expensive?

 

Why Are NFL Tickets So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

 

1. Higher Demand Means Higher Cost

Supply and demand chart.

 

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Buyers will treat NFL tickets as a high commodity item as long as more individuals want to buy them than actual tickets are available.

Therefore, as a result of the sport’s popularity and the high demand, NFL tickets are notoriously expensive.

While it might be tempting to place the blame for the high ticket costs on the owners of the NFL teams, it’s best to blame the fans who are willing to purchase tickets at high prices.

If the fans weren’t supporting the demand, then the prices wouldn’t remain high.

Conversely, the demand is lower during preseason games because most starting players (especially QBs) don’t play in the preseason.

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Because of this, season ticket holders tend to avoid attending preseason games as well as games against teams with little star power.

As those games approach, you’ll likely be able to find plenty of unsold seats at reasonable prices in the secondary marketplace.

 

2. Demand Post-Covid

friends holding football while wearing mask

 

Even though inflation is at a 40-year high, consumers are still willing to spend a lot of money on live entertainment and sports.

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People want in-person experiences, especially since they’ve been cooped up for a couple of years without attending large events.

Now, people want to get out of the house and live life to the fullest.

Backing that theory, the United States and Western Europe had a massive 10–20% spike in the savings rate (amounting to a doubling of annual savings in 2020), leaving many households in a strong position to spend money.

The NFL knows that consumers have pent-up demand and they are ready to spend money.

With this pent-up demand post-Covid, NFL owners are raising prices and expecting a significant profit from the increased demand.

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Seatgeek, the secondary market platform, reported that ticket prices for future NFL games in 2022 average $307 after the league schedule was recently revealed.

Although this price is lower than last year’s average of $411, it is more than the average of $305 in 2020, when the NFL teams reduced attendance because of Covid.

Before Covid, the average cost of a ticket was $258.

 

 

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3. Fewer Games Means Higher Ticket Cost Per Game

American football game

 

It used to be that the NFL played sixteen regular-season games until 2021 when the NFL increased it to 17 games for each team.

While this may sound like a lot, the NFL plays the fewest games per season of any professional sport.

For example, the NBA plays 82 regular-season games per team before the playoffs, while the MLB has 162.

With each MLB team playing 81 regular-season games in its home stadium, they have considerably more time to bring in revenue from ticket sales than the NFL.

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The NFL is lucky if it has ten home games, with some teams only having eight home games

With thousands of fans flooding in once a week, it’s understandable that the biggest league in the country would charge more, even if it’s a little excessive.

In short, the NFL charges high prices for their tickets to make up for the small number of games in their season.

With each team playing just seventeen games a season and salary costs of at least $100 million, clubs strive to maximize the value of every seat in their stadium and every parking space.

 

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4. Limited Available Seating In Stadiums

Panthers NFL Stadium in downtown Charlotte

 

Upwards of 80% of available seats go to season ticket holders.

That leaves roughly 20% of the stadium seats to sell to the general public.

Not only is it hard to find a seat, but the prices of those limited tickets are through the roof.

This is part of supply and demand in economics.

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More people want NFL tickets than there are seats.

In addition, the people who want these seats generally have the money to pay the higher prices.

The biggest stadium houses the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

AT&T Stadium has the largest capacity of any NFL stadium, with more than 100,000 fans, while MetLife Stadium has the highest advertised seating capacity of 82,500.

In contrast, Soldier Field, with a capacity of 61,500, is the smallest stadium.

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While you might think that Soldier Field would have higher ticket prices because of the limited seating, the Chicago Bears were placed 25th in NFL.com’s power rankings at the end of the 2021 season, with only the Jaguars and Texans below them.

Therefore, the valuation of an NFL team’s ticket prices is based on many things simultaneously.

 

5. Fans Want The In-Person Experience

Young football supporter fans cheering with flag

 

The sheer magnitude of people is the first thing you notice while attending an NFL game.

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Most NFL stadiums have a capacity of at least 60,000 people, with some exceeding 100,000.

When there are so many fans rooting for the same team, the noise from cheering can be overwhelming.

The crowd roar may get your adrenaline going when the home team makes a major play.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy this while watching the game from the comfort of your own home.

Fans also have a strong sense of belonging.

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Sports have a unique ability to bring people from all walks of life together for the same goal.

Another aspect of an NFL game’s atmosphere is the feeling of being a part of something bigger than oneself.

For example, being a part of a crowd that causes the other team to commit a false start penalty or forces the opposing quarterback to call a timeout makes you feel like you’re a part of the game.

Home teams try various things throughout the game to engage and energize the fans.

Their responsibility is to keep the crowd involved in cheering for the home team.

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One way that they achieve this is by showing a highlight reel of the team’s best plays before the game.

In addition, music and audio calls from the play-by-play broadcasters often accompany these videos.

When you’re at the game, you can watch any part of the game rather than just the camera view on TV.

Going to the game is your best option if you enjoy observing how the defense moves when the ball is snapped or how the receivers execute their routes.

Attending a major sporting event, such as an NFL game, is unique.

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However, because fans want to have this incredible in-person experience, NFL teams can charge more for the opportunity.

 

6. Better Team Performance Equals More Expensive Tickets

New England patriots helmet

 

Winning is critical to the financial success of most NFL teams.

Because of the team’s success, the New England Patriots have long had some of the most costly tickets in the NFL.

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Based on a team’s success, teams can mark up the ticket price list.

TicketIQ recently announced NFL average ticket prices for the 2022 season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a small market team, had the third-highest ticket price at $513.

Two seasons ago, Tom Brady led them to a Super Bowl victory.

In short, the better a team’s record, the more the NFL can charge for tickets.

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7. Star Quarterbacks Raise NFL Ticket Prices

Tom Brady Quarterback

 

In addition to team performance, a star quarterback can make or break the pre-season excitement for a team.

This excitement directly leads to ticket prices.

In short, there’s a definite correlation between high ticket prices and a popular quarterback.

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For example, when the Buccaneers acquired Tom Brady in 2020, they raised their ticket prices as much as 15%.

 

8. Season Tickets And The Rise Of The Secondary Market

NFL football

 

According to NFL insiders, a team’s season-ticket holder base is about 80%.

However, in many situations, the bulk of a team’s season-ticket buyers are ticket brokers.

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The secondary ticket market consists of tickets that ticket brokers first purchase from a team’s box office, also known as the primary ticket market.

Then the ticket brokers sell the tickets on the secondary market.

For example, SeatGeek is a ticket marketplace where customers may sell their tickets on the secondary market, but it is also the primary ticketing tool for some leagues and venues.

Ticket prices on the secondary market fluctuate significantly more than those on the primary market.

Secondary market tickets cost more than face value if primary market tickets are underpriced or if tickets are challenging to find.

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Teams are aware that fans buy on the secondary market.

To get around the exclusivity clauses, teams sell season tickets to brokers, who then sell individual game tickets to fans on secondary market sites.

The ticketing corporation and the venue can only generate money this way.

Season tickets, on the other hand, do not have service fees.

The advantage of the secondary market, however, is that you can almost always use it to get tickets to an event after they have sold out at the box office.

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The disadvantage is that they’re likely to be a lot more expensive.

The laws of supply and demand govern this secondary market.

Because there is a limited supply, ticket scalpers can charge a premium for the opportunity to attend the game.

According to TicketIQ, the top five highest average secondary market ticket costs in the NFL for 2022 are:

  • Las Vegas Raiders $739
  • New England Patriots $653
  • Pittsburgh Steelers $580
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers $516

The Las Vegas Raiders have the most costly secondary market tickets in the NFL by far at $739.

 

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9. New Stadiums Mean Higher Ticket Costs

SoFi Stadium

 

When an NFL team moves into a new facility, ticket costs rise an average of 35%.

In the short term, a new building is lovely, but it exacerbates the problems in the long run by reducing the number of people who can afford to attend games regularly.

SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, are the two newest full-time NFL stadiums.

Both stadiums opened up for the 2020 NFL season.

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SoFi Stadium, which houses both the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, debuted in September 2020 after reportedly costing somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion to construct.

SoFi Stadium is regarded as the first “indoor-outdoor” arena of its sort, having open sides and a translucent ceiling.

The Los Angeles Chargers, with their new stadium, have the third most expensive NFL ticket in 2022, averaging $361 per ticket.

A new $1.9 billion domed stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders was built utilizing a combination of private and public financing after the NFL formally approved the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2017.

With the new stadium, the Las Vegas Raiders ticket prices are one of the highest in the league in 2022.

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On the secondary market, a Las Vegas Raiders home game ticket at Allegiant Stadium in 2022 costs $595.

In addition to Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (home to the Atlanta Falcons) and U.S. Bank Stadium (home to the Minnesota Vikings) opened up within the last six NFL seasons.

The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The stadium opened in 2017 and cost $1.5 billion to construct.

The average ticket price for the Atlanta Falcons the year before they moved to their new stadium was $78.83.

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However, when they started their new season at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ticket prices soared to $104.08, rising over 30%.

The U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings, cost $1.061 billion as of March 2015.

The state of Minnesota paid almost $350 million, the city of Minneapolis paid roughly $150 million, and the team and private donors paid the balance of $550 million.

Ticket prices for the Minnesota Vikings had stayed relatively flat for several years before constructing the new stadium.

In 2015, the average ticket price was $84.59, but the year that the new stadium opened, the average cost of a Vikings ticket jumped to $91.67.

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While a smaller increase than that of the Atlanta Falcons, it’s still an increase to the faithful Minnesota Vikings fans.

 

10. Consumer Price Index And Inflation Raise Ticket Costs

inflation

 

People have adjusted their spending habits as the consumer price index rises at unprecedented rates.

With inflation rates at an all-time high, many consumers are limiting spending on day-to-day items, but not on experiences.

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This new focus on experiences means that live sports are in high demand. 

With inflation as high as it is, along with the high demand for in-person sporting events, NFL owners can charge pretty much what they want and the fans will come.

As we’ve seen, consumer behavior doesn’t change when it comes to sports expenditures and good times.

The post Why Are NFL Tickets So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons) appeared first on The Cold Wire.



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What you need to know about NFL cut day, plus one thing we learned about each team after Week 1 of preseason

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Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

It’s cut day in the NFL, which you’re going to hear a lot about over the next few weeks because there’s actually THREE cut days this year. The NFL added a few extra cut days last season to make things as confusing as possible. 

So when are those three cut days? Glad you asked. We’ll be going over that in today’s rundown, plus we’ll also be covering the Seahawks-Eagles trade.

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As a quick reminder, you can still bid on a chance to have a 10-minute Zoom call with me. The auction is for our annual CBS Sports telethon that raises money for St. Jude, so all the money from the auction will be going to charity. 

If you want to bid, all you have to do is click here. Last year, the winning bid for me went for more than $1,000 — it was the highest at CBS Sports — but this year, it’s much more affordable. The bidding is at just $26 right, which makes it the bargain of the century. 

Alright, that’s enough of that, let’s get to the rundown. 

As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link.

1. Today’s show: Monday Mailbag

Kirk Cousins
USATSI

During the NFL offseason, we like to spice things up each week on the Pick Six Podcast by adding a listener mailbag every Monday, and just because the preseason is here doesn’t mean these mailbags will be going away anytime soon. We had one yesterday and we have another coming today. (We’re not usually this lazy, but Brinson and Wilson had to travel to Nashville this week for work, so we recorded an extra mailbag since they’ll be flying today.) 

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Our mailbag episodes are pretty simple: We read listener questions during the show and then answer as many of those questions as possible. Questions can be about literally anything. I mean, I’m pretty sure someone once asked us how many state capitals we could name without using Google. If we’ll answer that, trust me when I say that we’ll answer almost anything. 

Anyway, if you want to submit a question, all you have to do is go to Apple Podcasts (click here) and leave a five-star review that includes your question. 

Here’s one question that Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I answered for today’s show.

Q: With how weak the NFC is looking — Green Bay lost Davante Adams, Tampa Bay is dealing with plenty of issues and Matthew Stafford is having arm issues — who is your favorite long shot bet to win the NFC?

To answer this question, we first had to agree on what constitutes a “long shot,” and that was much easier said than done. We eventually decided that any team with odds over 15-to-1 qualifies as a long shot to win the NFC.

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With that in mind, the team I like the most is the Minnesota Vikings. Yes, I know the Vikings always choke and/or find a way to lose every game that actually matters, but I think they can actually be good this year. This team lost eight games last season by one score and still went 8-9. If they had just gone 4-4 in those eight losses, they would have gone 12-5. When you consistently lose one-score games, that says more about your coaching than anything. The Vikings got rid of their coach, so I think this team can be better. 

We also discussed SUPER long shots in the NFC — teams that have a 50-to-1 chance to win the conference — and I decided the Panthers are the best bet out of that group, which also includes the Lions, Giants, Seahawks, Bears and Falcons.  

If you want to listen to the rest of the mailbag, be sure to click here. You can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here

VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE: There’s a good chance Ryan Wilson is going to be getting a tattoo during our live show today, which starts at 1 p.m. ET. If you are interested in watching, you can check it out on YouTube by clicking here.

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2. Cut day: Former first-round pick headlines today’s cuts

The NFL will be holding three cut days this year and the first one will be coming at us today. 

With the league now playing three preseason games, the NFL decided to hold three cut days, with each one coming on the Tuesday following a full week of preseason games. The first cut day is today (teams must cut down to 85 players), with the next one coming Aug. 23 (cut down to 80) and the final one coming Aug. 30 (cut down to 53). On each of those days, the NFL’s 32 teams will have until 4 p.m. ET to get their roster down to the allotted number. 

Although teams have until 4 p.m. ET today to make their cuts, here’s a look at some notable players who have already been released: 

CB Darqueze Dennard (49ers)
DB Ross Cockrell (Buccaneers)
RB Corey Clement (Ravens)
WR Chad Beebe (Texans)
K Elliott Fry (Jaguars)
QB Jake Luton (Jaguars) 
CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. (Chiefs)
TE Garrett Griffin (Lions)

Dennard is probably the most surprising name on that list. As recently as last week, the former first-round pick was listed as the 49ers starting nickel back, but he apparently became expendable after rookie Sam Womack had a huge game in the preseason opener with two interceptions against the Packers. (If you want to know more about Dennard’s surprising cut, you can click here to check out our full story.)

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As for all the other cuts, if you want to check out the full list of players being released, just click here. (The list won’t be final until after the 4 p.m. ET deadline.)

3. Birds of a feather trade together: Eagles and Seahawks exchange players

JJ Arcega-Whiteside
USATSI

One thing that almost always happens when there’s a cut day coming up is that we see at least one trade go down. When a team is thinking about releasing a player who might draw some interest from other teams, they’ll usually shop him around to see if they can make a trade instead of cutting him. That’s what happened Monday with the Eagles and Seahawks pulling off a trade involving two players who probably would have been released. 

Here’s a look at the details in the rare player-for-player trade that involved zero draft picks:

This trade will bring Arcega-Whiteside’s career in Philadelphia to a disappointing end. The Eagles selected him in the second round of a loaded wide receiver draft back in 2019, and they’ve probably been regretting it ever since. Arcega-Whiteside was taken ahead of players like DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and Hunter Renfrow

During his three years in Philadelphia, Arcega-Whiteside only caught 16 passes, which is barely an average of five catches per season. His biggest year came in 2019 when he caught 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, but his numbers never improved after that. The trade to the Seahawks is probably for the best, since it will now give him a chance for a fresh start. 

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As for Amadi, he’s a versatile player who gives the Eagles some solid depth in the secondary. Amadi’s ability to play both corner and safety is likely a big reason the Eagles were interested in him. Amadi made seven starts last season during a year where he played in all 17 games for the Seahawks. 

For more on the trade, be sure to click here

4. One thing we learned about each NFL team during Week 1 of the preseason

With the first week of the preseason officially in the books, CBSSports.com’s Jordan Dajani decided that now was the perfect time to reveal one thing he learned about each team over the weekend. With most teams only playing their starters for part of the first quarter, you don’t always learn a lot about each team, but you definitely still learn something, so let’s check out Dajani’s list. 

  • Bills: Matt Araiza is a stud. “There’s a punting competition occurring in Buffalo between two great players: Matt Haack and rookie “Punt God” Matt Araiza. There are high expectations for the San Diego kid with the interesting nickname, and he lived up to the hype in Week 1 of the preseason. Araiza punted just once, but it was an 82-yard boot that traveled more than 75 yards in the air!” 
  • Cowboys: Still haven’t figured out how to cut down on penalties. “The Cowboys racked up a whopping 17 penalties for 129 yards in Week 1 of the preseason. They led the league in penalties last year, and head coach Mike McCarthy presumably doesn’t want to do that again.”
  • Jaguars: The offense looks like it will be much improved. “They just needed a coach like Doug Pederson to come in and put all the pieces together. Jacksonville’s first preseason game featured a solid showing from the offense, as Trevor Lawrence led an 11-play, 78-yard drive that ended in a field goal, and then later, another 11-play, 63-yard drive which was capped with a touchdown pass to Evan Engram.”
  • Texans: Dameon Pierce is no longer a secret. “The rookie running back out of Florida looked electric in his first NFL action. Pierce rushed five times for 49 yards, looked dangerously shifty in the backfield and was quite literally throwing grown men around in pass protection. It’s early, but he looks like a baller.”
  • Steelers: George Pickens looks like a star. “Pickens looks fast, he seems to have great ball skills and he was burning defensive backs one play, and then laying them out as a blocker the next. He caught three passes for 43 yards and one touchdown on five targets, and will help whichever quarterback starts for Pittsburgh.”

Dajani’s list actually includes all 32 teams, and if you want to check out the full list, be sure to click here

5. Grading the first-round rookies after one week of preseason play

Kenny Pickett
USATSI

At some point, I promise you we’ll stop talking about Week 1 of the preseason, but that point is not right now, because we have some grades to hand out. CBSSports.com’s draft guru Chris Trapasso went through each preseason game from the weekend so that he could grade how every first-round pick did.

The good news for the rookie class is that no one got an ‘F.’ Let’s check in to see how a few of the first-round picks in the draft graded out: 

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Travon Walker (Jaguars): A-
Aidan Hutchinson (Lions): B
Ikem Ekwonu (Panthers): A-
Garrett Wilson (Jets): B+ 
Kyle Hamilton (Ravens): C+ 
Trevor Penning (Saints): D+ 
Kenny Pickett (Steelers): B
Kaiir Elam (Bills): B-
Cole Strange (Patriots): B
George Karlaftis (Chiefs): A-

Trapasso actually graded every first-round pick who made contributions (good or bad) in Week 1, and if you want to see each player’s grade — along with the explanation for each grade — then make sure to click here so you can check out the entire story.  

6. Rapid-fire roundup: NFL warns teams not to tamper with Roquan Smith

It’s been a wild 24 hours in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • NFL sends out Roquan Smith memo. The Roquan Smith situation in Chicago now has even more drama: Apparently, someone has been contacting other teams on Smith’s behalf. The NFL views this as a problem for two reasons: Smith doesn’t have an agent and the Bears haven’t given him permission to seek a trade, so there shouldn’t be anyone contacting any other teams on his behalf. The NFL sent out a memo to teams this week making it clear that if they talk to Smith, it would be viewed as tampering, which could lead to a punishment. 
  • Buccaneers sign Carl Nassib. The former Raiders defensive end is headed to Tampa Bay after agreeing to a one-year deal for the Buccaneers. The move makes sense for Nassib, who will be reunited with Todd Bowles. The Buccaneers coach was Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator in 2019 when Nassib played for the team. During that 2019 season, Nassib racked up six sacks, which is the second-highest total in his six-year career. 
  • Le’Veon Bell-Adrian Peterson fight is happening. The two NFL running backs were supposed to box each other in July, but the fight got postponed after the main event was canceled. Now, it appears the fight is back on. According to TMZ, the match has been rescheduled for Sept. 10 in California, which just happens to be one night before the first full Sunday of the NFL regular season. 
  • Bud Dupree pleads guilty to misdemeanor in Tennessee. The Titans star was given six months of probation after agreeing to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in Nashville on Monday. The plea stems from an incident in January where Dupree got into an altercation with an employee at Walgreens.  
  • 49ers starting safety could miss opener. Kyle Shanahan admitted Monday that safety Jimmie Ward could end up missing Week 1 after he suffered a hamstring injury in practice Sunday. “It was a pretty bad hamstring injury,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see over the next couple of weeks how it plays out.” Ward started 16 games for the 49ers last season and led the team in interceptions with two. 



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Russell Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett focused on partnership

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Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett are clicking, with the first-year head coach giving the veteran QB a newfound freedom.



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Rudy Gobert Has His Utah Return On The Calendar

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(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

 

The NBA world was rocked recently when it was announced that Rudy Gobert was leaving the Utah Jazz for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Utah was the only NBA home Gobert ever knew and he was a vital part of the team’s success.

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Cutting him loose, especially to such a promising team, was a major move that could greatly shake up the league.

People argued about which team did better in the trade deal that sent Gobert east.

Well, in a few months we will be able to see the two teams compete and get a better idea of which squad is superior.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will face off against the Utah Jazz for the first time on October 21 in Minnesota.

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Then, less than two months later, Gobert will return to Utah for the first time since the trade as his Timberwolves battle it out with the Jazz in Salt Lake City on December 9.

These will be two tremendous games that every NBA fan will want to watch.

 

Minnesota Faces The Music

There are many who think the Timberwolves will be the better unit now that they have Gobert.

The trade weakens Utah’s frontcourt and obviously improves Minnesota’s.

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However, a trade this enormous sometimes takes time to start working.

Gobert will need to learn to play with his new crew and that doesn’t always happen overnight.

So don’t be surprised if Minnesota doesn’t get off to an amazing start in October.

As for the Jazz, there is still much to be decided about the team, including its relationship with Donovan Mitchell.

The team once said it would never ship Mitchell away but once Gobert was sent packing anything seemed possible.

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Now there is a chance that opening night for the Jazz will see them without both Gobert and Mitchell.

The post Rudy Gobert Has His Utah Return On The Calendar appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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