Are Super Bowl Ticket Sales Really Down?

Last year, Super Bowl ticket brokers were predicting that passes for Super Bowl XVLIII could be among the priciest in the history of the Super Bowl. But now they’ve changed their tune considerably. This week, the market for the Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos is reportedly softer than was previously anticipated.  "A lot of our clients are simply saying they don't want to go. They don't want to sit upstairs for $1,200, even if they were given to them at face value, they don't want to pay $800," said Lance Patania, president and CEO of Prominent Tickets in Glen Rock, NJ during an interview with USA Today.  "That just sends shivers up my spine. That just shows there's not a lot of local people looking to go. Everybody said it's Wall Street, it's New York City, it's North Jersey, a lot of people, a lot of money, they're going to drive the market. It's been doing anything but that."

Super Bowl brokers get paid big bank by buying a block of tickets at face value, wait until the last minute, and then sell them. Some make a profit of 500 percent profit on their original investments. But the market appears to have adjusted, and brokers are concerned. And before you blame it on a cold weather Super Bowl, pump your brakes.  New York City is a destination of choice no matter the season, but to some, the teams are considered unsexy to novice football fans. 

"If this game was in San Diego or Miami, it would still not be a good ticket because the teams are not sexy,” continued Patania. “You don't have these huge fan bases that you would have if Washington or Dallas or New York or someone else was in it."

Not only is the average fan not shedding any tears over the predatory ticket brokerage industry, but the NFL couldn’t give two figs about them either.  It set prices for this game at $800, $1,000, $1,200 and $2,500 (club seats with indoor amenities). Another 1,000 tickets were available for $500 each through a lottery. That's down from $650 in the same lottery last year in New Orleans, and the number of lottery tickets was doubled from 500. Despite all the smoke and mirror magic tricks people are using to try and knock the idea of an extremely profitable Super Bowl, the NFL is saying the 80,000 seat MetLife stadium is sold out for Super Bowl XVLIII.

So what’s the real truth?