It used to be that fighting your way through crowds to get a close-up of sporting stars such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal was infinitely better than sitting at home watching the TV coverage.
But as growing numbers of sports fans upgrade to HDTVs it would appear that the lure of live events could be diminishing.
In the US, a top football club is experiencing what is likely to be a growing trend: a fall in season tickets sales as supporters decide they get a better view staying at home and watching games on their HDTVs.
Steve LaCroix, the Minnesota Vikings’ vice president of sales and marketing, said that HDTV is making his job more difficult.
The Vikings recently announced that its 2008 season ticket base would be 55,000, down 6,000 from just a few years ago.
“(But) I don’t think the renewal percentage is a factor of a fan-base erosion or anything,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of the challenge of the Metrodome and people leaving their high definition televisions at home to come sit in the Metrodome in some of the upper sections.”
The Vikings, whose regular season games are broadcast by Fox, can usually be seen each week in HD.
The Vikings’ experience is likely to become an increasingly common one – especially as ticket prices rise and networks and regional sports channels expand their HD lineups.

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