Super Bowl 55 tickets–on both an average listing price and “get-in” basis–were tracking to be the most expensive in history. As of Monday (the day after the conference championship games), TickPick had an average listing price nearly 200% higher ($23,371) and a get-in price 111% greater ($9,492) than last year’s game in Miami. The average list price for sold tickets as of Monday was $13,119 (+76%). While prices have come down over the last couple of days (the secondary marketplace now has seats for $7,635), the cheapest ticket package currently available on the On Location Experiences site–the NFL’s official Super Bowl ticketing provider–is still $8,500 after fees. According to TickPick data, should pricing hold it would be the second costliest Super Bowl get-in price of all time, behind only the short-squeeze of 2015 when the cheapest seats sold for upwards of $12,000 on game day.
Our Take: It is hard to imagine that in the midst of a global pandemic there could be enough demand for Super Bowl ticket prices to reach record highs. But Brett Goldberg (co-CEO, TickPick) explained, “The scarcity of supply and the unknown [pertaining to local interest] with Tampa making it” pushed pricing to what was previously unfathomable levels.
Sources with knowledge of the On Location Experiences business say demand for ticket and hospitality packages has been very strong, even in this anomaly of a year and with pricing at record levels. That has not been the case on the secondary market. “Tickets aren’t moving,” Goldberg said. “They’re just not selling–and understandably at these price points. It’s hard to justify spending this amount of money for a Super Bowl experience that is just not going to be the same.” The lack of activity combined with an influx of inventory over the last two days explains the significant price reduction.
There’s an argument to make that the lack of activity on the secondary market has less to do with ticket prices and is more reflective of reduced interest in the game. “The amount of search and number of people looking at [Super Bowl inventory] is not even comparable to a normal year,” Goldberg said. A tempered fan experience, the lack of corporate buyers in the marketplace (as a collective they have largely taken a pass on this year’s game) and a Chiefs fan base that as Patrick Ryan (co-founder, Eventellect) said “is not coming in huge numbers” (remember, they had the opportunity last year), could all be contributing to the reduced traffic. On Location Experience’s growing presence as a primary distribution platform may also be a contributing factor.
Last year, ticket prices tracked higher as the game neared. A large number of fans traveled to Miami–without tickets–to participate in the festivities surrounding the game, and as Sunday got closer many became desperate to get into the stadium. “You’re not going to have that this year,” said Jack Slingland (VP of Operations, TickPick). “There are no parties, and just by the nature of Tampa being in it, fewer people are going to be traveling down [to the host city] to enjoy the experience without having tickets in hand first.”
While pricing remains at record levels, it has started to decline as a substantial number of tickets have hit the secondary market over the last 48 hours. Ryan suggested the additional tickets have become available as teams (which are each allocated tickets) find their corporate partners have little interest in seats this year. “And a good majority of corporate partners who are buying tickets are doing so with an eye towards resale [so they’re hitting the market, anyway]. We should continue to see the supply going up.”
If the supply continues to grow, pricing on the secondary markets should continue to decline. However, as Ryan said, “The bottom can’t fall out of this market because Tampa Bay is playing.” In other words, there are more than enough local fans who would buy up tickets before they could reach discount prices. As a result, expect the final get-in figure to be north of the $5,500 (or so) Chiefs fans paid in Miami. The two TickPick executives projected the market will settle “into the mid sevens” over the next 10 days.
While the final get-in price may not set an all-time record, this is going to be a record-setting Super Bowl from a ticketing standpoint one way or another. Lower-level end zone seats have simply never traded for roughly $20,000/pair before.