Why the Most Expensive Super Bowl Ticket Costs $25,400
As Super Bowl 50 approaches, fans of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos — and football fans in general — are scrambling to find reasonably priced seats at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. At last check, the average list price of a ticket to the February 7 event was a whopping $5,659.60. Some individual seats are being sold for several times more than this. One — section 138, row 22 — is available for an unbelievable $25,400.
This year’s average Super Bowl ticket is 17.10% higher than it was at this time last year — which could mean prices will go even higher from here. By the time the 2015 Super Bowl was underway, secondary market tickets averaged $9,722.86 per game, by far the most expensive on record. Even if prices do not increase any further, they will have already more than doubled the final price of the 2014 event in New Jersey — Super Bowl XLVIII averaged “just” $2,567.00. Secondary market ticket resource TiqIQ provided 24/7 Wall St. with the average ticket price for the previous six Super Bowls as well as the current prices for the upcoming game to be held in San Francisco.
Ticket prices for the biggest game in North American professional sports can fluctuate wildly. Fans sitting in the 400s section are currently paying an average of $3,289 per seat, while those in the 100s level are spending close to $900 more on average. Of course, there are sections that run closer to $10,000, and individual seats that exceed $25,000 — a brand new Honda Civic and a seat in the uppe as the $25,400 seat, which approximately at the 50 yard line — on sale for $25,400. Box suites are available for more than $350,000.
TiqIQ CEO Jesse Lawrence explained how certain factors can cause tickets for the big game to vary so much from year to year, and also why Super Bowl 50 may become the most expensive to date. The first is the average high disposable income of residents in the San Francisco metropolitan area. A typical San Francisco household has an annual income of $83,222 — the fifth highest of any U.S. metro area.
The second factor that tends to affect Super Bowl ticket prices, and is likely driving up the cost of this year’s game, is the distance from the competing teams’ home cities and the location of the event. Lawrence explained that fanbases of some teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, are very willing to travel. He added that while Broncos fans were not quite in that tier, the distance from Denver to San Francisco is close enough to be manageable for a large segment of the Broncos fanbase — likely much more so than the last time Denver played in the Super Bowl — in New Jersey in 2013.
“The third factor, I think,” Lawrence concluded, “is the historic signifier that is Super Bowl 50, the fact that it is the 50th. There’s people, I think, that aren’t even fans of either team that are going just because of that.”
This is how much each of the last six Super Bowls cost on average in the secondary market, as well as the current prices for the upcoming game as of the time of writing. Also included was the minimum an individual would need to pay to attend each game. All price data was supplied by secondary market ticket resource TiqIQ.
Super Bowl 2017: What Time Is Kick-Off, How To Watch Live Or Stream, How Much Do The Tickets And Commercials Cost?
A post shared by Julio Galindo Photography (@juliog_photo) on Jan 26, 2017 at 3:18pm PST
We’re a day away from Super Bowl LI where the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Houston. Did you get your tickets yet? It’s not too late, there are plenty of seats still available, but it will cost you. Secondary market company TicketIQ states that the average list price per ticket to Super Bowl LI is currently $4,900. The cheapest ticket available is $2,280 and tickets to sit in section 106 at the 50-yard line are running at $25,000 EACH. So it sounds like you’re not going to be in the building for Super Bowl LI, so let’s see when and how you can watch it from the comfort of your home.
When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: NRG Stadium in Houston
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Streaming: Fox Sports GO. Viewers can use iOS, Android, Windows, and Amazon tablets or through connected devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire and Xbox One.
Online Replay: NFL Game Pass will have Super Bowl LI available at 12:01 a.m. on Monday
The National Anthem: Luke Bryan
Halftime Show: Lady Gaga
What about those of you who just want to watch Super Bowl commercials? There are a surprisingly large amount of people who just watch the big game to see commercials despite being hit over the head with ads at every second of their lives and despite the SB commercials being available before Super Bowl Sunday (As seen here). Prosper Insights and Analytics reports that 17.7% of adults say that advertisements are the most important part of the event.
Those commercials to a vast audience of an expected 116.5 million people will cost companies a pretty penny. Super Bowl LI ads are said to cost between $5 million and $5.5 million for a 30-second ad in this year’s game.
So get your favorite snacks and your most cherished adult beverage and prepare to enjoy the Super Bowl or the commercials or the halftime show or just the company of friends.
How Much Money Will It Cost NFL Fans to Attend Super Bowl 51?
Most football fans will never get to attend a Super Bowl | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Making a trip to the Super Bowl sits at the top of the bucket list for most NFL fans. It is far and away the biggest football game (and sporting event) of the year, and it decides the champion of the undisputed most popular professional sports league in America — the National Football League. It has also turned into a spectacle that is seemingly made for prime time television and the most famous people in the world are regularly spotted among the game’s massive crowds. With the being the case, it’s no wonder that attending the Super Bowl is something that is highly appealing to casual and diehard NFL fans alike.
Given the magnitude of the Super Bowl, it should really come as no surprise that attending the game comes with a hefty price tag. And the unfortunate reality of the situation is that making a trip to the big game is something that is financially unrealistic for most people.
Despite the financial ramifications, there are people out there who will do whatever it takes to see a Super Bowl with their own eyes. This got us wondering: What exactly would it cost to attend a Super Bowl?
Super Bowl 51 will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas | Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Super Bowl 51 will be played on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game will feature a matchup between the New England Patriots, who won the AFC Championship, and the Atlanta Falcons, who took home the NFC title.
With the help of TicketIQ and Travelocity, we were able to put together a breakdown of exactly what it would cost a person traveling from Boston, Mass. (home of the Patriots) or Atlanta, Georgia (home of the Falcons) to travel round trip to Houston to attend Super Bowl 51 in person. And what we came up with is jaw dropping.
We priced out a three-night, four-day trip from February 3-6, and for our calculations we factored in round trip airfare (non-stop), hotel accommodations, transportation, gameday parking, game tickets, and daily per diem costs.
Airfare to Super Bowl 51 isn’t cheap | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Patriots fans traveling from Boston Logan International Airport to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston are going to have to pay a pretty penny. As of the time we published this article, the cheapest available non-stop, round trip ticket on Travelocity was priced at $1,386.40.
Falcons fans traveling from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston won’t feel the same financial burden as their Patriots counterparts traveling from Boston. At the time of publishing, the cheapest non-stop, round trip ticket on Travelocity was priced at $739.40.
Hotels won’t be cheap near NRG Stadium | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
If you want a quick lesson on supply and demand, just browse hotel pricing and availability in the immediate vicinity of NRG Stadium. Of the hotels that still had availability at the time of publishing, the cheapest rate available on Travelocity was $290 per night ($870 total) for a two-star hotel.
If you are like us and staying in a two-star hotel doesn’t cut it for you, the cheapest available three-star hotel was priced at $1,200 per night ($3,600 total). All four and five-star hotels were sold out.
Rental cars are actually reasonable for Super Bowl week | John Moore/Getty Images
This is one area where fans wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg. At the time of publishing, Travelocity had the following car options available:
- Economy (Mitsubishi Mirage or similar): $29 per day ($106 total with fees)
- Compact (Nissan Versa or similar): $31 per day ($113 total with fees)
- Midsize (Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Leaf, or similar): $34 per day ($123 total with fees)
To Uber or not to Uber? | Martin Ollman/Getty Images
For some people, renting a car is simply not an option. Luckily for them, Uber has a strong presence in Houston.
According to Uberestimate.com, a one-way Uber ride from the NRG Stadium area to George Bush Intercontinental Airport would cost anywhere from $33-$183 (depending on the vehicle type you choose) without surge pricing. Needless to say, those who wish to use Uber in Houston on Super Bowl Sunday will be forced to deal with surge pricing.
In total, our best guess is that fans would need to plan on spending at least $200 in Uber rides over the course of their four-day stay in Houston.
Super Bowl tickets aren’t cheap | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
This is the area where fans get hit the hardest. As of January 26, 2017, the average sales price of a single ticket on TicketIQ has been $4,652.
Here is a quick rundown of ticket prices in various areas of the stadium at the time of publication:
- 600 level: $2,547
- 500 level: $2,696
- 300 level: $3,172
- Club level: $5,410
- 100 level (end zone): $3,236
- 100 level (corner): $3,284
- 100 level (center): $6,017
Parking won’t be cheap for Super Bowl 51 | Mario Tama/Getty Images
This is another area where demand clearly exceeds supply. According to Ralph Garcia of TicketIQ, the cheapest parking option within one mile of NRG Stadium is currently $53.
Attending a Super Bowl comes with several hidden costs | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
This includes food, drinks, souvenirs, and the like. Conservatively, our guess is that the average fan would spend at the very least $50 per day (a total of $200 for the trip) on food and drinks and another $200 on incidentals (gas for their rental car, a program at the game, etc.).
Attending a Super Bowl isn’t financially possible for most NFL fans | Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
- For a Patriots fan traveling from Boston: $7,467.40
- For a Falcons fan traveling from Atlanta: $6,820.40
The above figures represent the total cost for one fan of each team based off of the average sales price per ticket to date and the cheapest available options for flight, hotel, and rental car. As you can see, the NFL has done an excellent job of pricing the average fan out of attending Super Bowl 51.
Super expensive: Cheapest Super Bowl ticket costs over $8,000
Watching the Seahawks and Patriots play on Sunday will not be cheap. (USATSI)
If you want to go to the Super Bowl this year, hopefully you have $8,000 tucked away somewhere because that's what the cheapest ticket into Sunday's game is going to cost you -- and you can thank ticket brokers for that.
The Super Bowl's usually a lucrative time for brokers, but that doesn't look like it will be the case this year.
Broker's make their money by putting Super Bowl tickets on sale right after the AFC and NFC title games, when prices are generally at their highest.
Fans will buy the tickets, then the brokers will use that money to buy the actual tickets at a later point when the tickets are selling for a lower price.
For example, if a fan buys a ticket on StubHub for $3,500 the day after the AFC and NFC title games, the broker doesn't usually have the ticket in hand yet. The broker's hope is that the ticket will drop in price and then they'll buy it for cheaper, something known as "shorting" the market.
In this case, if a broker ended up buying a ticket for $2,700, they just made $800 because they already sold the ticket on StubHub for $3,500.
In the chart below, you can see how this works. Two years ago, the average price for a Super Bowl ticket peaked 13 days for the Super Bowl. Last February, the peak came on the same day the Seahawks and Broncos won their NFC and AFC title games, 14 days before the Super Bowl.
For 2015, the numbers in bold are where the market should have gone, so tickets should have been going for about an average of $1,822 on Thursday (Three days before the game). Instead, ticket prices have shot up astronomically.
"Everyone in the business had seen that shorting had been the right move," an anonymous broker told ESPN.com. "For the last five years it had been that way."
Now it's not that way though.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub on Thursday was going for $8,070, but that was only if you wanted to sit in the upper corner by yourself.
For a pair of tickets, you know if you want to sit with someone, Thursday's cheapest price was $8,500 each ($17,000 total) and that was found on the NFL's official ticket exchange.
Of course, some people bought their tickets before the market went crazy. According to StubHub, the cheapest Super Bowl ticket sold on its site went for $937, but that was sold on Jan. 20.
If paying for Super Bowl tickets isn't your thing, you can always follow Jay Feely on Twitter, he's giving tickets away. I'm guessing he doesn't know how much their worth.