Report: Raiders Tickets Averaging Over $1K on Secondary Markets amid COVID-19

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 23:  Crews test out architectural light ribbons and exterior sign lighting as construction continues at Allegiant Stadium, the USD 2 billion, glass-domed future home of the Las Vegas Raiders on April 23, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders and the UNLV Rebels football teams are scheduled to begin play at the 65,000-seat facility in their 2020 seasons.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NFL has said it plans to play the 2020 season as normal with fans in the stands. People on the secondary-ticket market are apparently buying in.

Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported secondary-ticket prices are up 51 percent over 2019. The Las Vegas Raiders lead the way among all teams with a $1,098-per-ticket average, which is up a jaw-dropping 527 percent from last season.

The Denver Broncos have the second-highest average at $774. Ticket experts attribute the price hike to a high demand and a lack of supply; fewer game tickets are on the market due to uncertainty regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, the boisterous secondary market feels like a major financial risk for fans. The NFL has a guaranteed refund system in place for tickets purchased from the team.

"All clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo.

However, that refund policy does not necessarily apply to secondary markets, which have markups on tickets above face value. Fans who purchase those tickets are potentially putting themselves at risk by paying an above-market price for a game that doesn't take place or is unable to host fans.

Most secondary-ticket providers have set up some sort of refund policy amid the pandemic and/or offer insurance to buyers. However, those depend on the seller and are at the discretion of the ticket provider. With few live events happening worldwide because of the pandemic, secondary ticket companies are among the hardest-hit businesses. 

Despite the risk, fans of the Silver and Black are gambling on being allowed to see their team at the new Allegiant Stadium in person this year.