Buyers came… buyers saw… and buyers logged in and cleared Ticketmaster’s allotment of NFC title game seats in minutes Tuesday.
With that online attendance — which featured a queue of thousands when tickets went on sale to the public at 10am on Tuesday — the cheaper option many fans had of getting into the NFC championship game vanished just as quickly. with which it came. It showcased what secondary ticket market analysts have been predicting since the Philadelphia Eagles-San Francisco 49ers matchup was set on Sunday: This was going to be a hot ticket.
It has lived up to the hype thus far, with the NFC title game currently stacking up as the most expensive conference title game in NFL history. According to industry search engine TicketIQ, the average price per ticket hit $2,468 on Monday afternoon, with chairman Jesse Lawrence calling that cost “the most expensive conference championship game we’ve ever tracked.” That initial figure surpassed the previous peak set last year between the 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams, which hit an average ticket price of $1,542.
The game’s secondary inventory was still significantly high on Tuesday, hovering between 4,000 and 5,000 tickets still available. If it stays that high, it could drive prices down, but Ticketmaster’s general limited sale to the public has been wiped out quickly, it’s possible that inventory will start to dry up as shoppers start to lose patience and take what’s available. As of Tuesday afternoon, Lawrence said the average high price was still strong.
“As of right now the prices are holding,” Lawrence said. “The initial price has decreased slightly, but overall the average is exactly what it was before [Monday].”
The admission price for the game (representing only the cheapest seat in the stadium or standing room only) was nearly $700 before tax late Tuesday night.
NFC gaming is not alone either. The AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals had an average single ticket price of $1,218, according to data from TicketIQ Monday afternoon. This represented the most expensive average AFC title game price ever by the outlet, and the fourth highest of any conference title game. These figures do not include reduced-capacity playoff games during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Why the tip? Analysts say inflation is likely at play, as is everything else in sales over the past 12 months, but there has also been significant demand. StubHub’s head of partnerships, Adam Budelli, said the outlet has seen huge demand for tickets to the divisional rounds, foreshadowing demand for conference title games.
“Last weekend’s games doubled in sales by [the January 2022] round on StubHub, setting the stage for a record-breaking championship weekend in regards to ticket sales,” Budelli said. “Demand for both the AFC and NFC championships is up from last year right now . While [Bengals quarterback Joe] lair and [Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes is expected to walk away in what is sure to be a memorable rematch [of last year’s AFC title game]the clash between elite defenses and ardent 49ers and Eagles fans is dominating sales.”
So what does this mean for potential Super Bowl sales? It’s too soon to tell, as the game’s matchup hasn’t been decided. But the hot division and conference championship sales trend could create another huge price tag for Super Bowl tickets.
“The current [Super Bowl] the average list price is $9,527, which is extremely high, even for a Super Bowl,” Lawrence said. “Prices probably won’t stay that high, but if they did it would be the most expensive Super Bowl we’ve tracked.”