With 'weird' Super Bowl week underway, ticket prices aren't going to the moon as brokers initially expected

Charles Robinson
·NFL columnist
·4-min read

GameStop stock isn’t the only commodity in a free-fall this week. Make way for the secondary Super Bowl ticket market.

Despite a dream matchup mixing in iconic quarterbacks and strong fan bases (not to mention a home town participant), Super Bowl LV tickets have been sliding dramatically over the past several days. Secondary market brokers are growing skeptical that this weekend’s Super Bowl will be the most expensive ever and are wondering if it can even eclipse last season’s Miami matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

As of Monday, this year’s matchup between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was running a cheaper average get-in price than Super Bowl LIV in 2020. According to data from online ticket marketplace TicketIQ, last season’s get-in price for the cheapest entry to the game settled at $6,603. That’s solidly more than the latest get-in data for Sunday’s matchup, which TicketIQ put at $5,936 early Monday. As of Monday evening, pods of four tickets could be had for as little as $6,278 per ticket through TicketIQ, which falls below last season’s line and falls far below the most expensive average “get in” tickets in Super Bowl history: the 2015 matchup between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona, which settled at an average of $8,764.

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 31:  An aerial view of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LV on January 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Raymond James Stadium will play host to a limited capacity Super Bowl on Sunday. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The modest slide has been a surprise to many brokers who believed this year’s limited capacity (which is roughly 35 percent of last season’s Super Bowl) would drive prices up with a pair of strong teams making an appearance. It doesn’t get much stronger than Tom Brady and the hometown Buccaneers against the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs and arguably the best player in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. But as of early Monday, that pairing hadn’t resulted in the ticket rush that many brokers hoped would hold through the dead week and then pick up momentum on Monday as inventory began to tighten.

The problem: Inventory wasn’t tightening through the weekend and momentum was slowing considerably into Monday.

One broker framed it in the bleakest of terms Monday afternoon: “Zero.”

The reasons given for the potential slowdown are varied, from a pandemic-subdued Super Bowl week experience that lacks many of the normal bells and whistles of the event; to potential rain over the weekend; to late-arriving teams; to Chiefs fans who spent at another Florida Super Bowl one year ago; to Buccaneers fans who appear to be waiting more patiently than expected for prices to fall. Inventory has also been more plentiful than expected Monday, with as many as 2,600 seats available across all selling platforms. And it wasn’t shrinking through the day, leaving prices to crawl rather than head into the stratosphere.

“It’s a weird week, so it's hard to say exactly what it is because there are so many other factors this year that you can’t compare past years to,” said one mid-level ticket broker whose in-person sales in Tampa were basically non-existent Monday.

“It’s not like we’ve ever sold tickets to an event like this in the middle of a national health issue. I don’t think anyone can deny that has had an impact at this point — especially when you combine it with the prices that were so high in the first few days after the [conference] title games and the fact that a lot of people are listing in groups of four when so many people are looking for pairs. It’s hard to find four people who want to buy Super Bowl tickets when they’re at those prices [from last week]. I think that might have kind of chilled everyone out too early. They just sort of heard where prices were and were like ‘I’m out. That’s too crazy.’

“Now I have a lot of people calling but they are mostly checking to see what kind of prices I can get them and if it’s any better than what they are seeing online.”

“Maybe it will be a last-minute home crowd and things will pick up as the week goes on,” the broker added. “I think that’s what a lot of [sellers] are hoping to see.”

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