NEW YORK – Ticket prices for Super Bowl XLVIII are expected to crash over the weekend and make the clash between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks the cheapest NFL championship game for more than a decade, according to ticketing experts.
A combination of the unpredictable weather in the region surrounding MetLife Stadium and hesitance among buyers from the New York area means the cost of a ticket on the secondary market could be as low as $800 close to game time.
Even with the weather forecast improving significantly – a high of 49 is expected Sunday, according to The Weather Channel – the market continued to nosedive on Friday, with an average price of $1,767 compared to $2,015 a day earlier, according to ticket aggregator SeatGeek.com.
"We will see the most activity on the weekend but also the most volatility," SeatGeek spokesman Connor Gregoire said. "We think that prices will drop a lot during that time and end up very close to face value."
The cheapest Super Bowl tickets that are allowed to be resold have a face value of $800. A small number of $500 tickets were made available by the NFL as part of a special promotion, but they must be collected in person at the stadium, making resale highly unlikely.
According to online marketplace StubHub, the cheapest ticket sold as of Friday morning was for $1,100 for a seat in the upper end zone, section 326. The most expensive, in the lower club section, changed hands for an eye-watering $13,530.
If prices continue to head south, this would be the cheapest Super Bowl since the matchup between the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams in New Orleans in 2002.
The Baltimore Ravens' victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the Big Easy last year also saw low prices, due to the large number of seats in the Superdome and sky-high hotel rates deterring visitors.
Weather played a factor this year, even before concerns were raised that a severe snowstorm could cause the game to be rescheduled.
"When games are in warm weather cities you see a lot more interest and higher prices," StubHub’s Glenn Lehrman said. "When it is warm people bring their family and make a weekend of it but you are less likely to see that here, even in a city with the appeal of New York."
According to Gregoire, buyers in the New York-New Jersey region have been particularly cagey about purchasing tickets, many relying on a late crash.
"A lot of them have been sitting back, perhaps waiting for the tickets to reach a certain low point before they buy," Gregoire said. "Now it is starting to pick up in terms of volume. At this point more than a third of all the tickets sold are coming from the area surrounding New York, way higher than any other state – even Washington and Colorado."
A number of fans were left disgruntled by their teams' policy of selling on a portion of their tickets to a company called Prime Sport, who then offer seats at a significant mark-up.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue in his State of the League speech on Friday and admitted that the league’s ticketing policy had not worked particularly well this year.
Want to watch the Big Game ads? Check them out here: