High NFL Ticket Prices Got You Down?
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NFL ticket prices are the most expensive of the 4 major North American sports leagues.

NFL ticket prices are out of control!
The average face value cost is 38% more than the NHL, 54% more than the NBA, & 177% over MLB.

At $85.83 & $214 respectively, face value and secondary market prices are at an all-time high.

This, despite the fact that sales have actually decreased over the last 3 years.

But rising prices are hardly news and it’s to be expected with most things…

What may be surprising to you is the rate at which NFL tickets continue to rise. The average price has gone up 38% in the last 10 years - a figure only surpassed in sports by the NHL (44%).

NFL Ticket prices compared to other sports

At the same time, the median U.S. salary has increased by only 15%.

Why NFL tickets should cost much less.

Anticipating NFL ticket prices

Note: The majority of fans do not own season passes and need to purchase seats on the secondary market, so from this point on when I mention ticket prices, I am referring to resale prices.

I have seen a fair amount of articles dispensing advice on how to “save significantly”, or “not go bankrupt” when buying NFL tickets. The writers reason that, since NFL ticket prices are chiefly influenced by supply & demand, knowing the factors that affect demand can give you an advantage by allowing you to anticipate - and thus avoid - high prices.

But is it really advantageous to know that you won’t be able to attend a “marquee” matchup - such as the week 8 (2015) Green Bay at Denver game, where the get-in price was over $400 - without taking out a bank loan? Or that you can get cheap NFL tickets to contests involving bottom-feeding teams played in arctic conditions -- Cleveland Browns game, anyone?

Maybe you’re supposed to take comfort in the knowledge that you might save money if you wait till the last minute to buy?

Instead of regurgitating stuff you already know, I’m going to suggest you look into another factor. It may be unpredictable, but it can save you anywhere from 6% - 41% on tickets…

NFL ticket brokers - the X factor

In theory, the price of a particular ticket for a particular game would be similar, regardless of the ticket reseller, since brokers essentially share their inventory (in case you never noticed, the same exact seats can be listed on multiple sites).

In reality, this is not the case. Base NFL ticket prices vary from broker to broker, and then when you factor in the service & shipping fees, the difference in final cost can be quite large.

In a random sampling of listings from 9 major ticket resellers during the 2015 season, I found that the average difference in price between the reseller with the cheapest ticket and the one that charged the most for the same (or similar) seat for the same event was $40.48.

Avg. difference between lowest-highest broker listing $40.48
Number of times difference ≥ $50 25
Number of times difference ≥ $60 19
Number of times difference ≥ $70 9
Number of times difference ≥ $80 7
Number of times difference ≥ $90 6
Number of times difference ≥ $100 3

You can save $50 - $100 on occasion, assuming you went from the most expensive reseller to the cheapest. But what if you simply ignored the highest priced ones, or didn’t even know they exist?

Well if that’s the case, let’s examine the difference between the lowest broker listing and the next lowest. The average difference was a mere $8, but 27% of the time (28 of 103) you stood to save $10 or more.

Avg. difference between lowest & next lowest broker $8.01
Number of times difference ≥ $10 28
Number of times difference ≥ $20 11
Number of times difference ≥ $30 2
Number of times difference ≥ $40 1
Note: the NFL ticket prices used in this study were based upon the cheapest listing per broker, per seat (minimum of 2)and included all service & shipping fees. In no case was it ever the final cost, as all of the prices were taken from listings 2-3 weeks before the game.

How to get Super Bowl tickets at face value.

Now depending upon your habits (or lack thereof), your savings would likely fall somewhere in between $10-$100. But if there’s a chance that you could save $10 or more per ticket each time, wouldn’t you take it??

But - isn’t there always a but? -- there’s a good reason I call it the X factor. While the prices tend to even out over the course of a season, there’s a lot of randomness from week to week. Yes, there are ticket resellers that consistently charge less than the competition, but there are no guarantees. A broker with the cheapest listing for one game might very well charge the most for another in the same week. I have seen this many times.

Take Gold Coast Tickets, for example. Its average cheapest ticket price for 2015 was the highest out of the 9 brokers, and they had the highest-priced cheap seat 45.6% of the time, but still offered the lowest price for 7 of the 103 (6.8%) sampled games .

The weather system of NFL ticket resellers

How are you supposed to put your trust in such an unpredictable system, you ask?

The answer is, you don’t, because it’s not really a system. People talk about weather systems, but you can’t really predict the weather - all you can do is gather and present data.

Each week (for the regular season, 2-3 weeks prior) I will list the cheapest available NFL ticket prices from each broker side by side, so that you can see & decide for yourself how much, or how little, you can save. But you can only get this information if you subscribe to my newsletter.

Next: Give your ticket broker the boot!

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