Super Bowl Ticket Prices

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Feb 2, 2013    •    414 Views

Reflecting monopoly prices, \$850-\$1250 is the face value range for 2013 Super Bowl tickets. By contrast, in 1967, the least expensive box office ticket to the first Super Bowl would have cost you \$6. Using an inflation calculator, I discovered that 6 dollars in 1967 is the same as \$41.24 in 2012.

When the tickets are resold, the dynamics of a market kick in. One ESPN reporter compared pricing to a stock market with long and short sellers. (Yes, short sellers who first sell high to groups many months before the game and then buy later, hoping that price falls.) The determinants that then affect demand relate to location pros and cons, hotel room availability and price, and the corporate “fans” with tickets who could potentially flood the market if, at the last minute, they decide not to go. In 2012, the average price in secondary markets was close to \$3000.

Here are people who get first get tickets according to Seatgeek:

If we have a secondary resale market, could we call this initial distribution the IPO?

Here are ticket prices since 1967:

The green bar indicates the face value of an inexpensive ticket. The adjacent blue bar is what that ticket price would equal in 2012 prices. A face value of \$125 in 1990 would be \$219.58 in 2012 dollars.

Examples of face value for lowest price tickets from each year and then the equivalent price if converted into 2012 dollars. From theawl.com

Sources and Resources: This ESPN blog provided an excellent analysis of Super Bowl ticket pricing in secondary markets and the Houston Chronicle’s slide show, theawl.com, here, and Sports Business.com, here, and seatgeek, here, were my sources for ticket prices and game locations. Meanwhile, for more about changing prices and the diminishing number of work hours we need to buy the same item, this Dallas Fed report was interesting. Also, if you want to do some inflation calculating for different years, the BLS Inflation Calculator is here.