Weather, distance keep demand for Super Bowl seats 'softer than imagined'
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 10:24 p.m.
A still-building weather system possibly will affect New York on Super Bowl weekend, but it won't be the perfect storm.
According to brokers selling secondary-market tickets for the most expensive Super Bowl ever, a Steelers-Giants or Steelers-Eagles matchup would have resulted in a never-before-seen surge for tickets.
But even with America's biggest one-day event coming to America's biggest city for the first time, seat prices are coming down daily because the participating cites, Seattle and Denver, are so far away.
Because it will prohibitively expensive even a week from now for fans in Denver and Seattle to line up last-minute flights and hotel rooms, most coming from those cities will buy their seats by Thursday, based on past Super Bowl patterns.
“By the end of the week, most sales will be in the New York/New Jersey area, and then you'll see them come down,” Connor Gregoire, a Seatgeek.com communications analyst, said Tuesday. “The secondary market is healthy, but there were expectations this would be the most expensive Super Bowl ever. But the two cities are 4,600 miles away.”
The tickets available on the open market jumped from 12,000 on Monday to 17,000 on Tuesday as fans from non-participating teams began putting up their seats for sale, according to Seatgeek. Each NFL team receives about 2 percent of the seat allotment, and most of those tickets are distributed to season ticket holders via lotteries.
Tickets are selling for an average of $3,504, including some seats that went for as little as $1,550 before the two weekend conference championship games were played Sunday, according to Seatgeek. That average was down $200 from Monday.
“It (demand) is softer than imagined,” Gregoire said.
Face value ranges from $2,600 to $500. But the NFL isn't allowing the resale of the 1,000 seats that sold for $500 each in a lottery.
Last year in New Orleans, the NFL estimates many $600 tickets sold on the secondary market for $2,000, and midfield seats went as high as $6,100.
Luxury suites protected from the wind, cold and possible snow are what's prohibitively expensive. One suite is being listed for $1 million, but most are in the $250,000 to half-million range. Tickets for the various Super Bowl parties are appreciably higher than in the past.
The weather also could factor into last-minute ticket sales. Accuweather.com meteorologist Evan Myers said a storm system approaching the Northeast on Super Bowl weekend could affect New York sometime between Friday and Sunday.
“The weather affected sales for the San Francisco-Green Bay (wild-card) playoff game (Jan. 5),” Gregoire said. “By kickoff, seats were selling for $30.
“Not that you're going to see a $30 seat for the Super Bowl.”
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
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