January in Sports: By the Numbers

Here’s a look at the numbers behind some of the biggest sports stories this past month. Send us suggestions for next month’s edition by tweeting at @michaelkruse with the hashtag #GrantlandStats.


Amount of Prince Fielder’s nine-year contract with the Detroit Tigers: $214 million

The city of Detroit’s budget deficit: About $200 million

The amount taxpayers contributed to the price of the Tigers’ $300 million Comerica Park: $189 million

The year Comerica Park opened: 2000

The median home price in Detroit in 2004: $175,563

In 2011: $66,896

The cost of one second of an ad during this year’s Super Bowl: $116,666.67

Number of brains from dead NFL players examined by Boston University researchers so far: 15

Number of those brains in which researchers found chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease found in people who’ve been subjected to repeated concussive and subconcussive head injuries: 14

Percentage of former NFL players who experience financial distress within five years of retirement: 86

Percentage of Americans who considered pro football their favorite sport in 2003: 29

In 2011: 36

Number of people who watched NFL football on Thanksgiving in 2011: 73 million

Number of the 14 weekends this past fall on which college football games were the most watched TV shows on Saturday nights: 11

Percentage increase in the salaries of professors at American public universities (between 1985 and 2010): 32

Of football coaches: 650

In 1970, America’s world rank in high school and college graduation, respectively: 1; 1

Today: 21; 15

Number of people who watched last year’s Super Bowl: 111 million

National TV sports ad revenue on network and cable from the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2009: $8.2 billion

Two years later: $10.9 billion

Percentage of the total after-tax household income in America that went to the top 1 percent of earners in 1979: 8

In 2007: 17

The average purchase price of a Super Bowl ticket as of Monday: $4,346

Average age in years of all cars and trucks on the road in America in 2011: 10.8 (A record high!)

Number of Americans who use payday lending services: about 60 million

In 2011, the number of hours of live sports on national TV, up 5 percent from 2010: 42,500

Number of people in America who play fantasy sports: 35 million

Filed Under: #Grantlandstats, College Football, Detroit Tigers, NFL