So we're down to four. Patriots, Chargers, Packers and Giants. With the championship games coming up, let's explore the business of the Super Bowl ticketing.
Here are my projections for average secondary ticket prices depending on matchup. Before I go any further, I have to just qualify what I'm telling you here. The truth is there is no perfect way to determine average Super Bowl ticket price, but because I appreciate the sheer volume of business StubHub does, I'm going to use their averages in the past as a guide.
These are the average prices for a Super Bowl ticket sold on the secondary market on StubHub over the last five years:
Average for Super Bowl XLI (2/4/07 Colts-Bears): $4,004
Average for Super Bowl XL (2/5/06 Steelers-Seahawks): $3,009
Average for Super Bowl XXXIX (2/6/05 Eagles-Patriots): $2,659
Average for Super Bowl XXXVIII (2/1/04 Patriots-Panthers): $2,290
Average for Super Bowl XXXVII (1/26/03 Raiders-Buccaneers): $2,767
So here are my current projections, noting that the average ticket on the site right now is selling for $4,383.
Patriots vs. Packers--$4,700 (571 percent over face value)
Despite the fact that the Patriots have been to this game so many times in recent years, there's a huge premium for seeing the team go 19-0. The price I have now for Pats/Pack would be a record for all-time highest price of a Super Bowl ticket. Favre might be back, but the chance to see him do this thing one more time not only throws rabid Packers fans into the mix. In fact, according to StubHub, the average price for the Packers-Giants game at Lambeau right now is $610--that's $72 more per seat than the average price on the site for the Patriots-Chargers.
Patriots vs. Giants--$4,300 (514 percent over face value)
I'm not giving a huge discount because the Giants are in the game. StubHub stats show that New Yorkers generally purchase about 7 percent of tickets on the site no matter who is in the Super Bowl, which is usually the fourth largest purchase by state residents other than the states of the teams that are playing and the state where the Super Bowl is hosted. According to the 2006 census, New Jersey--where the Giants play--and New York have the highest and third highest median household income ($66,752 and $61,005). Site officials say that the Giants-Packers game has sold more than double that of Chargers-Patriots, in dollar volume and that gross sales of this game increased by 500 percent within hours after the Giants upset the Cowboys. I'm sorry to those Giants fans who blew their cash on the last game of the regular season to see this matchup, but the fact is there are plenty of Giants fans to go around. With all this said, if the Cowboys were playing in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, the ticket price to this game is $5,000 easy.
Chargers vs. Giants -$4,100 (486 percent over face value)
I know that you think I'm saying that the Packers are worth more than the Giants right above. But I'm not saying that. Not only am I adding a premium for the general rich fan who wants see history with the Patriots, but I'm also adding a premium to see Favre go up against that history. I'm thinking if the Patriots are gone, the Giants alone are worth more than the Packers. I might be wrong here. But Super Bowl XXXV (Giants-Ravens) was at the time the biggest price ever paid for a ticket at the Super Bowl. Some of it might of had to do with the fact that it was two east coast teams playing in an east coast city (Tampa, Fla.), but the worst seat in the house that year on game day was going for $2,600.
Chargers vs. Packers--$4,000 (471 percent over face value)
This could be your cheapest Super Bowl ticket. No, this isn't the bad old Chargers--the team has sold out games for 2 1/2 years (though the Wildcard game at Tennessee took a while to sell out) and the Packers have their buzz to carry the day. What keeps this ticket price up at the end of the day is the fact that Chargers fans can drive to this game in Arizona. Getting to Glendale from San Diego is a perfectly fine 5 hour and 30 minute drive. Packers fans will be able to get to the game, either flying out of Chicago or even flying out of Green Bay. This morning, I found flights that left Wednesday, Jan. 30 and returned Tuesday, Feb. 5 on Midwest Airlines from Green Bay to Arizona and back for $878. If you can afford $8,000 for a pair of Super Bowl tickets, you can afford a couple thousand for the flights. The other factor that puts this ticket at $4,000 is the fact that the Pack haven't played in this game since 1998.
A couple words about all these prices. These are prices I'm projecting you'll find on the Internet. Things often change when you get to the game. StubHub might have had the average price of the ticket for Super Bowl XXXVII (Bucs-Raiders) at $2,290, but I was finding tickets by the stadium at the last minute for $1,500. The year before that (Patriots-Rams), I bought a Super Bowl ticket on the street minutes before the game for $100
Note: This will never, ever happen again. There were a ton of factors going it to this--right after Sept. 11, Rams fans didn't really show up, lack of hotel rooms in New Orleans, etc. Showing up at the stadium will sometimes help (maybe Chargers-Packers), but I'm not advocating it if it's Patriots-Packers.
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