Thursday night is the start of the new NFL season, when the New England Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After a tumultuous "deflategate"-filled offseason, the Patriots—and the rest of the league, it seems—are ready to put it all behind them, and actually get back to on-field play.
Since Tom Brady's suspension was lifted on Sept. 3, ticket prices for Thursday's game spiked up initially before settling back down. The average price for a ticket is now $487, according to the latest data from secondary market aggregator TiqIQ. That's up from $449 prior to the suspension's being lifted. Prices peaked at $539 the day after Brady was ruled free to play, a 26 percent single-day jump.
Expensive tickets are nothing new for Patriots fans: The team's average ticket price ($351) is fourth-highest in the league, behind teams that include the Seattle Seahawks ($438) and the Denver Broncos ($378). Overall on the secondary market, the average of all NFL ticket prices are up 3 percent since last year—to $214—a small growth rate on absolute terms, but big if compared to the current no-inflation economic world.
Beyond just tickets, an even bigger growth area in the past weeks has been Brady and Patriots merchandise. Brady gear has seen a weekly growth rate of 180 percent in the days since being freed, and the Patriots as a team are up 63 percent.