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Conference championship tickets with price peaking in 2023


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — The resale market is hot for conference championship games this weekend. The average secondary market list price for Sunday’s game in Kansas City is the highest of any game in the AFC championship.

According to resale site TicketIQ, you can get in right away for under $400. But what you might call the best seats are priced at $8,000.

Chiefs fans have been pampering themselves with an AFC Championship game at home for five years running. The same could be said for ticket brokers like Tickets For Less, which is based in Overland Park.

“It’s very cool to be able to have these five years in a row,” said Jason Durbin, vice president of ticketing operations for Tickets For Less.

Most well-known resale sites are primarily platforms that provide an avenue for connecting buyers and sellers. When the event is local, Tickets For Less typically purchases the tickets, then sells them as the ticket owner. Over the years they have built relationships with subscribers.

“You’ve got less than a week to sell out a stadium that’s, you know, a lot of tickets to move in a week,” he described.

He said he’s never seen an unsold-out Chiefs playoff game.

TicketIQ has calculated the average list price for conference championship games over the years. They ruled out 2021 because COVID meant reduced capacity. The average for the 2023 AFC game (Bengals at Chiefs) is the highest ever.

The average for the 2019 game against New England was $271. The average for the 2020 game against Tennessee was $415.

The average is $1,218 this year, up 18% from 2022, when the contenders and position were the same. That time, the Bengals defeated the Chiefs in overtime. Durbin speculated on what makes this year such a big attraction.

“There are all the storylines at play,” he considered. “A rematch from last year. They are the two great young quarterbacks of Burrow and Mahomes. And then you have two really passionate fan bases.

He said starting prices are about the same as last year for the Chiefs, but more top-tier tickets entering the resale market are pushing the average a little higher.

However, the resale tixes for the 2023 Chiefs-Bengals rematch in Kansas City are nowhere near what they are for this year’s battle between the Eagles and 49ers for the NFC championship.

TicketIQ’s calculations for the top five most expensive conference championship games, based on the average secondary market list price, place the 2023 NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia at number one all-time: $2,468. The 2023 AFC Championship ranks fourth most expensive of all time.

Durbin speculated that it was partly a geographic and demographic factor. People in Philadelphia and especially San Francisco are used to paying more for everything than people in Midwestern areas like Kansas City and Cincinnati. But there’s also the fact that Philadelphia fans have had to wait five years to get this far.

“Suppressed demand will be a big factor,” Durbin said.

If you decide to enter the game, be sure to shop around and see if fees are included in what you see on screen.

“Eventually, he could have a lot more checkout fees,” Durbin warned. “When you’re dealing with a high dollar bill like this, a ten percent, 15 percent, 20 percent fee can really add up by quite a lot.”

He also advised to be wary of private sellers or unfamiliar resale sites. All tickets are mobile. Paper tickets are a sure sign of a scam. Wherever you shop, be sure to use a payment method like a credit card that allows for refunds if something goes wrong.

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