If you wanted to get that top-of-the-line jersey of your favorite NFL player before next season starts, hopefully you did so before April 1.
ESPN.com reported Nike raised the prices on the two highest tiers of the NFL jerseys it sells at the beginning of this month, although no announcement was made. The price of the Elite jersey, as close to what the players actually wear as you can get, went up from $250 to $295. The Limited jersey, the second tier, went up from $135 to $150. The Game jersey, the lowest tier, stayed at $100.
The league put all the blame on Nike, with a league spokesman telling ESPN.com that Nike and retailers determine the prices. That's dubious, at best. If the NFL struck their big-money exclusive deal with Nike and relinquished all say in how much jerseys could be sold for, that's not really looking out for its fans very well.
The story said 75 percent of jerseys sold are the Game jerseys, so maybe it won't have an enormous impact on NFL consumers. But still, $295 seems very steep for a shirt, and an 18 percent price hike for the best jerseys seems a bit steep.
But Nike has a monopoly on (legal) NFL jersey sales, the NFL has washed its hands of any responsibility, and now it's up to the fans to decide if the price has finally gotten to be too much to buy the jersey of their favorite player.
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