Super Bowl 2014 Ticket Prices: Analyzing Latest Information on Costs

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 29, 2014

Feb 5, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A ticket scalper sells tickets outside of Super Bowl Village before Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl XLVIII ticket prices have been fluctuating in recent days, and it's worth digging into the latest information available to find out what's going on.

With a fantastic matchup between the two top seeds from both conferences in the NFC's Seattle Seahawks and the AFC champion Denver Broncos, there shouldn't be any shortage of excitement or hype. Seattle has the top-ranked defense, while the Broncos field the best offense in the NFL led by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning.

Forbes.com's Jesse Lawrence reported on Tuesday, Jan. 28 that ticket prices are up two percent from yesterday's numbers, with $3,088 being the current average price as of Tuesday afternoon. That came after a 22.94 percent decline in prices last week, per Lawrence:

After the market opened above $4,000, it began to drop steadily as the decline turned into an outright, panicked selloff, with snow falling all week and brokers fueling the fire with proclamations that we could be headed for worst Super Bowl in history.  That decline continued throughout the week, and as the temperatures thawed over the weekend and the cheapest ticket broke the $1,500 threshold, buyers started to nibble.

Before this development, some fans have reportedly been driven away from the big game, and with that, the demand for tickets has lessened, because it apparently wasn't a "sexy" enough showdown.

Gary Mihoces of USA Today reported Tuesday that it isn't the cold weather East Rutherford's MetLife Stadium will foster on Super Bowl Sunday that drove demand down, but rather because of the two franchises' markets.

According to Lance Patania, the president and CEO of a ticket brokerage firm called Prominent Tickets based in Glen Rock, N.J., the elite teams are the culprit for the cheap prices:

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The issue with the weather is one thing, but the teams are not drawing. If this game was in San Diego or Miami, it would still not be a good ticket because the teams are not sexy. ... You don't have these huge fan bases that you would have if Washington or Dallas or New York or someone else was in it.

Not sure anyone buys that.

After all, it's Peyton Manning going up against the best defense in the league—one of the best secondaries in recent memory at that. The league was hoping for a unique change in climate that fans would be receptive to and couldn't have asked for a much better showdown.

Even though the Broncos are favored by 2.5 points according to VegasInsider.com, Manning's waning arm strength and Seattle's physical running game led by Marshawn Lynch could present serious problems. That's especially true the lower the mercury on the thermometer drops.

NFL vice president of corporate communications Brian McCarthy had a different take on the matter, stating that demand had actually gone up, per Mihoces:

We sell the tickets at face value and demand from fans and sponsors has been unprecedented. No, we are not concerned with secondary (resale) markets which will ebb and flow but will perhaps enable fans to buy tickets at even more reasonable prices. The concerns about the weather continue to dissipate and we've seen an influx of demand today.

McCarthy's testimony falls more in line with what Lawrence and the Star-Ledger's Tom Wright-Piersanti reported.

Wright-Piersanti opted to focus on the cheapest possible tickets for multiple Internet sellers such as StubHub, BuyAnySeat.com and others, but also linked to SeatGeek.com and noted that the average price had gone from $3,478 to $3,605.

The current listing at SeatGeek.com shows $3,431 as the average price, with $1,500 being the cheapest ticket available and a whopping $719,420 stub being the most expensive. That just shows how much movement is going on as buyers and sellers continue their dynamic speculation.

That's a lot of information to sift through. For a lighter cutaway, check out this story from retired two-time Super Bowl champion Trevor Pryce, who won two Lombardi Trophies with the Denver Broncos:

The point is that Super Bowl tickets aren't much of a bargain even on the low end. Although witnessing the spectacle in person would be a priceless experience, it's going to take a good amount of coin to view the NFL's grand finale up close—or from the nosebleeds.

Here's the good news: It looks as though, at least for now, prices are dropping. Getting in on a ticket right now might be the best option in the event that demand hikes up the closer it gets to game day.

On the other hand, with the way prices have spiked and dropped, it's difficult to determine when, where and how to make the pricey purchase.

Whether fans take in this game at MetLife Stadium, from the comfort of their own homes or wherever else, they should be treated to a thrilling game.

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