1 in 4 consumers say it’s somewhat likely they’ll incur credit card debt due to their football spending

Consumer Watch

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This week marks the start of the official NFL season and the college football season is well underway. Now that all teams have been cleared to allow for full-capacity stadiums, fans are gearing up for a return to more social viewing events.

To find out how people are thinking about spending money this football season, LendingTree surveyed more than 2,100 people about their plans.

Key findings

  • 67% of Americans will spend money on at least one item for the upcoming football season. The most common purchases are food and drink for at-home game watch parties (26%), streaming services or cable TV (22%) and food and drink away from home (20%).
  • Nearly 40% of consumers are planning a special splurge for football season to make up for last year. Most notably, 14% of those who typically only watch games at home plan to attend a live game. 
  • 51% of Americans hope to attend at least one live football game this season, including 13% who will travel to another city and 6% to another state. 
  • 1 in 4 consumers say it’s somewhat likely they’ll incur credit card debt due to their football spending this season. As an example, 27% of football fans will shell out $1,000+ on the sport this year.
  • 32% of avid football fans say their spending on the sport has caused an argument with a loved one. Relatedly, about 3 in 10 have been in credit card debt due to the sport. 

“People are absolutely desperate to get back to doing the things they love, and there are few things Americans love more than football,” says Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst for LendingTree. “I do think that game attendance may vary widely by region, though. For example, stadiums in the South may be packed like it is 2019, while those in other areas might be a bit more sparsely populated.”

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