Stephen Schork of the Schork Report oil newsletter has been writing quite a lot lately about gasoline consumption in the US – namely, how it is declining (see here and here).
But we won’t begrudge him that, because it’s an important subject. Plus, he pursues an interesting line of thought in today’s missive: comparing how much Superbowl tickets have risen since 1966, compared to rises in the price of gasoline.
Gasoline as a percentage of personal consumption expenditure, versus Superbowl ticket prices:
Source: Schork Report
After all, for the price of admission to the first Super Bowl, you could purchase 31 gallons of gasoline. Today, one Super Bowl ticket (face value) buys you nearly 400 gallons! Absurd indeed, but then again, in 1966 the notion of paying $1.50 for a pint of “spring water” would have been considered absurd.
What’s more, who is to say your typical football fan can actually afford these prices… more than 17% of the U.S. workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.
Schork continues that, while the value of football hasn’t really improved at all in that time, keeping gasoline flowing has required huge investments, risky exploration, technological advancements and all kinds of other efforts, including operating in “dodgy” areas. (Though we’d point out that, from the consumer’s point of view, gasoline is still pretty much the same commodity it was several decades ago.)
His argument is that, while paying $1,000 for a Superbowl ticket is the height of stupidity, it makes criticism of oil and gas industry subsidies, which has made relatively huge efforts in the past few decades, look a bit weak.
Bad signs for oil from personal consumption data so far (FT Energy Source)
President’s energy budget short-sighted (FT Energy Source)