By Robert Stitt
Super Bowl 50 is set to be an iconic moment in sports history. Over the last few decades, the Super Bowl tradition and the hype surrounding it have become even bigger than the event itself. We all know that the winners get a special ring and that television spots go for an obscene amount of money, but if you want to see the game in person, you enter a new realm altogether. In fact, there are dozens of unknown facts just about the ticketing for the big game.
For example, if you want to get the best deal on a ticket, it’s better to wait. You always take the chance of not getting a seat if you wait, but that’s why early sales go at a premium. The Network Journal reports that Superbowl ticket prices can drop nearly 40 percent from the beginning of the season and Superbowl weekend.
How much money is made on tickets alone? It’s a $5-6 billion-a-year industry. Most of those tickets are not sold directly to fans but are bought up by large organizations and resellers. TNJ notes that the potential gains from reselling tickets are so large that many companies employ sophisticated technology to “game the online buying sites that are built specifically for cutting in line and buying tickets before fans can buy them.”
The Super Bowl is one of the few large events sticking with paper tickets as many are choosing to go digital. To keep things on the up-and-up, the NFL says that their tickets use “holograms, custom laser cutouts, thermachromic ink and a specially made gloss varnish.”
While the official number of Super Bowl 50 tickets will not be released by the NFL until early next year, as of Sept. 22, there were already 68 Super Bowl 50 tickets being advertised on TiqIQ with an average price of $4500 (the lowest at $3979).
Tickets are just the tip of an economic iceberg for the host city, and the tip of a financial landslide for attendees. Fans must consider transportation to and from the event, rental cars, parking fees, food, lodging, and memorabilia. And, don’t forget the family. TNJ reported that for Super Bowl XLIX, 122,000 visitors spent an average of four nights in town. “Of those visitors, 63,000 had tickets while 59,000 did not.”
Every Super Bowl is the event of the season, but the 50th anniversary is going to be an event to be remembered. The only question is whether you will remember it with the smells and sounds of the stadium surrounded by 100,000 strangers, or in the comfort of your cave with your best friends.