These are the sports people will buy a single ticket to see

PGA fans often buy just one ticket.
PGA fans often buy just one ticket.
Image: AP/Charlie Riedel
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Attending a sporting event is not usually a solo outing. Only 12% of all ticket purchases to sporting events are for a single ticket, according to data provided to Quartz from the ticket marketplace Vivid Seats. About half of ticket purchases are bought in pairs, and 39% in bundles of three or more.

When sports fans do buy a single ticket to an event, it’s much more likely to be for some sports than for others. Nearly 29% of tickets purchased for PGA Tour events were single tickets; for horse racing, it was 25%. This compares to less than 6% of tickets for Minor League Baseball and below 8% for the NHL. The data are for purchases from 2015 to 2019.

The differences are partly a result of each sport’s fandom culture and partly a matter of the types of tickets that get sold for these events. Perhaps the main reason PGA Tour tickets are so likely to get bought in singles that they are often general admission, meaning that the ticket doesn’t come with a particular seat. This means when friends decide to go to an event, they can buy their tickets separately. The same is true for many racing events. But that doesn’t explain why people are twice as likely to buy a single NFL ticket compared to an NBA game. Reserved seating is the norm for both sports. It seems there are more NFL fans that just have to go to the game, regardless of whether they are with friends or family.