Super Bowl ticket prices heat up

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jan 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-31 13:53:20-05

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Forecasts of warmer weather in the Northeast on Super Bowl Sunday have helped to re-ignite resale prices for tickets to the big game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.

Worries about the league’s first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate had cooled off demand for tickets, driving prices lower than they’d been for the last three championship games.

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With temperatures on Sunday now expected to hit 50 degrees during the day and just below 30 degrees at night, average resale prices have jumped ahead of a year ago. Fans can now expect to shell out an average of $2,060, according to SeatGeek, a search engine that tracks online sales.

There’s even a possibility of a last minute price increase. Ticket sellers typically cut prices as kickoff approaches to move remaining tickets.

“Right now, inventory has fallen from around 12,000 tickets listed on secondary markets just two days ago to roughly 6,000 unique tickets listed today,” said Will Flaherty, spokesman for SeatGeek. “If inventory gets tight over the next day or so, we could see a late jump in prices as the weather improves.”

Flaherty said typically the resale price of tickets is firmest in the period starting two weeks ahead of the big game. That’s when the matchup is decided and when die-hard fans of the two teams scramble to find tickets and a place to stay. But this year the average resale price plunged by 40%, which many attribute to a snow storm and the frigid temperatures.

But after hitting a low point this past Sunday, the ticket prices posted an unusual rally, rebounding 13% early this past week

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Another thing that is helping demand is a surprising surge of demand from local fans. The strongest demand for tickets typically comes from the two team’s home markets.

StubHub, a unit of eBay that is one of the largest ticket resale markets, estimates that 25% of purchases are being made to fans in New York and New Jersey, compared to 17% from Washington State and 11% from Colorado. Flaherty said rich fans in the New York area are helping to support prices. New Orleans and Indianapolis, the last two cities to host the game, are relatively small markets with far less disposable income.

“You couldn’t fit all the millionaires in New York City into the stadium,” said Flaherty.

The highest price paid for a Super Bowl ticket so far this year is $13,530, according to StubHub. That’s 25% more than the top price paid for last year’s game.

— CNN’s Amanda Hobor contributed to this report

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