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Football Fans More Affluent Than Non-Fans, Stockton Poll Finds

The poll also found that Giants and Jets fans are wealthier than Eagles fans.

(Patch file photo)
(Patch file photo)
By Anthony Bellano

Most of the state’s richest residents will likely be watching the big game this Sunday.

Football fans are more affluent and better educated than non-football fans, according to a poll released by Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on Wednesday.

NFL football fans are more likely to earn $100,000 or more than non-football fans by 27 percent to 18 percent, according to a recent poll of 800 adults. It also found that 45 percent of non-fans earn less than $75,000 a year, compared to 39 percent of football fans who earn the same amount.

According to the poll, 71 percent of football fans have attended some college or earned a four-year degree or better, compared to 62 percent of non-fans.

“About 100,000 fans are expected to come for the Super Bowl and related events. These are the kind of tourists you want to attract to the state,” Institute Director Dr. Israel Posner said. “They’re smart, affluent, and have disposable income. The tourism and hospitality industries expect that they will like what they see in New Jersey and come back for vacations and business trips.”

There are also differences based on which team a fan cheers for.

The poll found that fans of the New York Giants and the New York Jets are more likely to earn $100,000 or more than fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, 30 percent to 18 percent. Additionally, 47 percent of New York fans hold a four-year degree or better, compared to 36 percent of Eagles fans. The percentage of fans of each team that attended some college is statistically equally at 73-71 percent.

“These numbers reflect the demographic differences between the North Jersey and South Jersey regions,” Posner said. “People living closer to Philadelphia are more likely to be Eagles fans. South Jersey tends to have lower household incomes and education levels than the more urbanized north.”

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, and is larger in sub-categories. Interviewers calling from Stockton College’s main campus in Galloway called both cell phones and landlines.

Eagles fans are more likely to be gamblers, with 60 percent saying they have gambled sometime within the last year, compared to 49 percent of New York fans.

The Eagles won the NFC East title in 2013, while the neither the Giants or the Jets made the playoffs.

“Eagles fans will point to their team’s win-loss record as their most important statistic,” Posner said.

In general, football fans are more likely to gamble, at 53 percent compared to 38 percent of non-football fans.

Three-fourths of those polled have a favorite NFL team, including 83 percent of men and 68 percent of women.

The Giants are the most popular, with 31 percent support among respondents, compared to 15 percent for the Eagles and 5 percent for the Jets.

Ocean County has the largest concentration of Giants fans at 58 percent, while 13 percent of Passaic County residents cheer for the Jets. The Eagles are the most popular team in Camden County, at 67 percent.

Three percent of respondents preferred the Dallas Cowboys, and 3 percent support the New England Patriots.

The poll is released ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, the first Super Bowl to ever be played in the state. The NFC champion Seattle Seahawks battle the AFC champion Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium.

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