Get in line and get comfortable, cause it’s a long one…
And with good reason.
Not only have NFL ticket prices increased dramatically, its inflation has far outpaced some basic necessities:
And it shows no signs of slowing down. At $275, the average initial cost of a ticket for the 2017 season, according to TicketIQ, is an all-time high and represents a 30% leap from 2015. U.S. median household income, on the other hand, has gone up 5.4% over that same span.
1) Resale ticket prices are always changing. Factors such as team standing, opponent, and weather can cause prices on the secondary market to fluctuate wildly over the course of a 16-game season, and even from one week to the next. This can work for you, and also, of course, against you.
2) Secondary market ticket prices are fixed. You buy a ticket, it’s yours to do, or sell, as you wish… you know, free market and all, right? Wrong. For certain teams, the NFL TicketExchange prevents a ticket from being sold below the face value, thereby setting a price floor, but not a ceiling (of course).
3) Season tickets (might be) a good value. If you already attend several games a year and you’re able to share the cost with 1 or 2 people, then this could be the cheapest (per game) solution & best value. I reiterate, it could be, if we’re talking about one of the 19 teams that sell season passes for $500 or less.
But, what if one of those 19 is also one of the 17 teams that require a PSL (Personal Seat License). PSLs can
cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousands of dollars - even tens of thousands. And that’s
not all - 16 teams have waiting lists of up to 30 years.*
To sum it up, there are just nine NFL teams that sell season tickets for under $500 that don’t require a PSL and don’t have a waiting list. So if you’re a avid fan of one of these teams, then yes, a season pass could be well worth the money.
4) It’s almost impossible to buy tickets at face value. Mind you, I’m not referring to meaningless late-season contests between losing teams, I’m talking about the games that create buyer frenzies, such as the Green Bay at Denver matchup of the 2015 season, where the cheapest pair of seats went for $405 on the secondary market.
If you think that you can get face value NFL tickets and bypass the resale market by buying directly from the a club’s box office, you’re delusional, and here’s why.
5) NFL tickets are commodities. Just like gold and oil, the price is the price. Any difference in what you pay is a result of branding and marketing. So when you see claims like (these are from actual ticket sites):
“XYZ has the best prices on all of our discounted NFL Football tickets”
“Our upfront ticket pricing will show you some of the cheapest NFL tickets available”
You should know it’s a load of crap.
So is it possible to get NFL tickets cheap? Absolutely, if you don’t care too much about the teams involved… you could watch the Tennessee Titans play the Cleveland Browns (10/22/17) for example, for as little as $19 (all fees included).
On the other hand, a ticket for the Chargers-Patriots game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 29 will set you back at least 300 bucks. In reality, it’s more about paying less than the other guy than it is about getting cheap tickets.
Next: No fee ticket sites?
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