If you were dreaming of scoring a ticket to the Super Bowl, you may need to dream really big. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the NFL is considering jacking up the price of the best seats.
This is less about football, in some ways, than it is about technology. Back when tickets were scalped in front of the stadium, it was hard to know how much they went for. But, these days, reselling has moved online to ticket brokers like StubHub. And that means anyone can see just how much more fans are willing to pay.
The NFL has crunched those numbers and figured out that the resellers are making big bank, said George Daly, a professor at Georgetown University’s business school.
“The NFL feels that the profit should accrue to them instead of the ticket brokers,” Daly said.
The biggest payoff will come from the best seats. The word is that the tab for club-level seats, which were about $1,200 last year, will more than double to roughly $2,600 this year. Daly says, sure the brokers can jack up the prices, but probably not by a whole lot.
And what about the fans?
“I don’t see a backlash, I think the typical NFL fan they’re not going to go anyhow they’re going to watch it on TV,” said Tom Regan, a sports economist at the University of South Carolina. He adds that the average fans buy about a third of the seats and the NFL is expected to lower the price on those by a hundred dollars.
Theprim0 tickets typically go to big wigs and corporate sponsors. And there are plenty in New York and Jersey where the game’s being played, said Michael Leeds, who teaches sports economics at Temple University.
“We’re talking about the vice president for marketing for JPMorgan walking with a picket sign,” Leeds said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
But Leeds says, what could happen is empty seats. “You know this is their showcase, they want to show that the Super Bowl is a wildly popular event and empty seats undercuts that.”
He says empty seats won’t stop the NFL from pulling in a lot more money but it might leave advertisers, that other cash cow, wondering: where’d all the fans go?