5 critical action steps every first-time homebuyer must know
David Bach’s
arrow First-Time Homebuyer Challenge
Get Access Now Learn More

NFL merchandise is a big business. In fact, 27 of the world’s 50 most valuable sports franchises are NFL teams, according to Forbes.

Still, the NFL is notoriously secretive regarding its finances, and concrete merchandising numbers are hard to come by. One thing that’s certain: Fans can pay significantly more or less for similar items, depending on the stores, online retailers and even stadiums they frequent.

Here’s a ranking of the worst to best things to buy at the football stadium or pro shop, starting with the worst. Find out why you’re better off buying some of these items elsewhere.

NFL Jerseys

When it comes to fan gear, NFL jerseys are some of the most expensive items on the market. The official league uniform supplier, Nike, can essentially set its own prices. After taking over for Reebok in 2012, Nike immediately hiked prices on official NFL jerseys and then raised rates again in 2014. Currently, entry-level replicas are about $100, intermediate jerseys are $150 and top-of-the-line Elite jerseys — which are made of the same materials that players wear during games — sell for about $295.

A little online research shows that jersey prices can vary widely. A search for Adrian Peterson jerseys at the Minnesota Vikings official shop found several $150 Peterson jerseys that were discounted to $100. A representative who answered the phone at the Vikings shop, but who would not speak on the record, said that overstocked jerseys are sometimes discounted both online and in the store at the stadium.

Read: NFL Teams With the Cheapest Tickets

Fans can also pick up Adrian Peterson jerseys on Amazon.com, though the site provides a long warning to customers about how to spot counterfeit, non-Nike NFL jerseys. What appears to be a legitimate jersey is offered on Amazon for between $97.99 and $122.99.

Still, cheap NFL jerseys are not impossible to come by. The official NFL shop maintains a section on its website where select jerseys are steeply discounted.

Non-‘Official League Uniform’ Merchandise

Nike has a lock on jerseys and other ‘league uniform’ clothing. But what about all those non-Nike shirts, hats, scarves, blankets, pajamas and everything else that isn’t worn on the field but is still officially licensed by the NFL?

According to its licensing and merchandising pre-qualification statement, the NFL only licenses manufacturers, not middlemen or distributors. Moreover, the NFL recently enacted strict limitations on how those manufacturers can distribute branded merchandise.

Read: Which NFL Hall of Famer Has the Highest Net Worth?

In an attempt to reduce the number of counterfeit products flooding the market, the NFL has forbidden manufacturers from selling to any retailer that distributes merchandise on third-party sites. So, retailers can sell through their own websites but not sites like Amazon or eBay. An Amazon.com search for New York Jets purses, for example, turns up several items, but none appear on Jetsshop.com.

Still, Amazon does feature some items that are also available at the pro shops. An official “Love to Dance” Eagles tutu dress sells for $39.95 on Amazon — the same price it is in the Eagles shop. And a San Francisco 49ers 39THIRTY flex hat sells for $29.99 in the team’s shop but is available on Amazon from $6.20.


If you love collecting your favorite players’ autographs, you should beware of overpaying. In the Atlanta Falcons shop, for instance, a Wilson “The Duke” model football signed by Matt Ryan costs $299.99. A seemingly identical signed ball, however, is selling for $239.96 at SportsMemorabilia.com.

Similarly, a white-panel football autographed by Champ Bailey goes for $199.99 at the Denver Broncos Pro Shop but fetches just $159.99 on SportsMemorabilia.com.

Bobbleheads and Collectibles

As manufacturers and retailers struggle to adapt to the NFL’s new rules, an inconsistent and unpredictable pricing landscape has moved beyond clothing and into the collectibles market. For example, a Tom Brady NFL bobblehead sells for $29.99 in the NFL Shop, $34.99 in the Patriots ProShop and about $26 on Amazon.

The pricing variation extends from toys to art and other collectibles. Currently, you can buy a framed Green Bay Packers Super Bowl ticket collage for $149.95 in the Packers Pro Shop or purchase one from $119.99 at Fanatics.com. Similarly, a Riddell Cincinnati Bengals full-size helmet costs $329.99 in the Bengals Pro Shop, but you can score the same helmet at Bed Bath & Beyond for $279.99.

Overall, you can probably do better online with NFL bobbleheads and other team memorabilia than you could in the stadium.


Clothes and collectibles aren’t the only items with differing price tags. When it comes to the cost of a cold beer, NFL stadiums vary drastically.

Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, sells a 14-ounce beer for $5, according to a GOBankingRates.com study. That’s 36 cents an ounce. You can get a cold one for 38 cents an ounce at both Everbank Field, where the Jacksonville Jaguars play, and the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.

On the other end of the spectrum is Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, where a 12-ounce draft costs $8.50, or 71 cents an ounce. Less merciful is Levi’s Stadium, where 49ers fans will fork over $10 for a 16-ounce beer, and Oakland Coliseum, where a 20-ounce beer costs Raiders fans a whopping $10.75.

Read: These Are the Huge Corporations That Own Your Favorite Brands

Hot Dogs

The best you’re going to do for an NFL hot dog is $3 at the Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium and the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field. The next best deal is back at Gillette Stadium, where a hot dog costs $3.75. Seven different stadiums, meanwhile, charge about $6 per dog. Oakland Coliseum, once more, carries the biggest food costs for fans, with hot dogs selling for $6.75.

Depending on the retailer, store or stadium where you choose to shop, you could pay much more for the same — or similar — items. From hot dogs to bobbleheads, jerseys to beer, the NFL is a multi-billion dollar enterprise with very inconsistent pricing.

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.

You May Like