Paying $4,000 For Super Bowl Tickets May Be Crazy, But Possibly Worth The Memories That Will Last A Lifetime
Published 1/30/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
When I read about the crazy sums of money football fans have been plunking down for a chance to watch the New York Giants play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII (42nd), I was shocked, but not surprised. Just for the record, no - I didn't pay more than $4,000 for a pair of Super Bowl tickets to watch the two best football teams in the nation play this coming weekend. But I understand why feverish and passionate football fans would pay that kind of money to support their team (I've done it before, although not nearly to that level of degree).
If I were a Giants or Pats fan, I would have given some serious thought to shelling out the high scalper-driven prices to secure the coveted tickets and necessary hotel rooms for the chance to experience the event of a lifetime. Looking back at my earlier days, I wish I had jumped on the exciting opportunities when I had the chance. When my college alma mater made it to the men's NCAA basketball championship game I was still in graduate school and didn't have the financial means or the ability to take time off from classes to attend. Looking back I wish I had dug down deep and made the effort, because ultimately my school went on to win that national title game. I missed an opportunity that may not happen again for some time. Afterwards, I promised myself - never again would I give up such a once in a lifetime opportunity on the account of mere time or cost, in the absence of other considerations.
Money Spent On Memories Vs. Money Spent On Material Goods
While I personally am very wary about spending exorbitant amounts of money on material goods, I don't seem to have the same aversion towards spending money on precious experiences that have the possibility of creating everlasting memories. Unlike the substance of memories, I view tangible goods as items with limited and fleeting lifespans that ultimately depreciate and wither away. Particularly with newly released electronic products like iPods and flat screen TV's, they frequently become outdated within months by the time the new updated model rolls around. Technology prices drop fast and what was top of the line one day soon becomes yesterday's news the next. At the end of the day, all material goods break down, wear out, and eventually become obsolete, but memories are forever. Memories and experiences are retained in the recesses of our minds, enriching our human experience and growing ever more valuable as time passes. As we age, those fond memories from years past become priceless treasures (it's cheesy but true).
When I was little, I spent a great deal of money and time on buying and playing video games. But looking back, it wasn't the computer technology, gaming systems, or game cartridges that brought me joy - it was the experience and cherished moments I had when playing games with friends and family. I think it's important to practice a reasonably frugal lifestyle, but some expenditures are worth the financial price. There's nothing wrong with living it up within your means on occasion - just make sure you are spending your hard earned money towards the things that have residual and appreciative intangible value.
The stores of wealthier diehard Super Bowl fans paying upwards of $20,000 for a pair of front row seats to the greatest show on earth is indeed stunning, but if they are sharing the experience with their friends, spouses, and children, I say - more power to them. I just hope they are living within their means and not doing anything financially crazy like putting the entire amount on a high interest credit card they can't afford, just for a 3 hour thrill.
Opposed To Spending Money On a $5 Coffee Drink, But Okay With Spending $250 To Watch My Favorite Sports Team Play
I've noticed that I seem to have a selective form of frugality. I generally like to save on the little things in life by cutting back on smaller daily expenses like my old Starbucks coffee habit and by refraining from frequently updating my clothing wardrobe. However, I seem to have no problem spending larger sums of money on things like entertainment experiences that I truly care emotionally and passionately about. It's an odd form of frugal living that I sometimes wonder if others share as well.