With a pandemic-limited crowd and heavy sales in Florida, Super Bowl tickets are making a run toward record heights

If recent history has taught ticket brokers anything, it’s that a Super Bowl ticket market doesn’t always do what’s expected. Strong fan bases can fall flat. Weather can dampen sales. Supply-chain squeezes can send prices into a stratosphere that few thought possible.

Super Bowl XLIX fit that latter description, with the tilt between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks standing as the hottest ticket in the history of the game. That particular Super Bowl was fueled by a glut of pre-sales that vastly underestimated a strong market as the game approached, leaving brokers scrambling to fill orders as prices rocketed. What ultimately resulted was an astonishing “get-in” price of more than $8,700 for the cheapest seat in the house on game day. That was a record expected to stand a long time. Then a pandemic season came along and created a challenger that nobody could have predicted.

Well, not until a few weeks ago, anyway. With Super Bowl LV having long been expected to be a limited-capacity event, all it needed to send prices to the moon was the right set of circumstances. What brokers got was an embarrassment of riches.

A pandemic-curbed venue capacity of 22,000.

A mass ticket donation from the NFL to 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers — roughly 34 percent of the total game day entrants.

A “home” game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A strong traveling crowd from the Kansas City Chiefs.

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers shakes hands with Patrick Mahomes (15) of the Chiefs after the regular season game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 29, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

And lest we forget, one of the greatest quarterback matchups in Super Bowl history, pitting the Buccaneers’ Tom Brady against the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes on Feb. 7.

What has resulted is brokers tracking the highest prices for tickets they’ve ever seen this far out from an event. According to secondary ticket marketplace TickPick, Super Bowl LV is riding two records, with the highest average sale prices of tickets ($9,439 as of Tuesday morning) and the highest get-in prices ($8,003 as of Tuesday morning), in the broker’s recorded data. Another online marketplace, TicketIQ, pegged the get-in price at just over $8,600 on Tuesday.

Remarkably, those prices have actually fallen as availability has started to ramp up with other tickets becoming available on the secondary market. TicketIQ data put the online availability at just over 1,500 tickets Tuesday. A brokering source also revealed what the players and coaches allotment will be for the game — two complementary tickets for every player on the Chiefs and Buccaneers, with each also granted the right to purchase four extra tickets at prices topping out at $3,650 per seat in the best lower-bowl availabilities. Every coach and “director” level employee for teams is also being given two complementary seats with the right to purchase two extras each.

The total ticket allotment of the two teams could top out at over 1,000 seats. That means between the two teams and league donation to healthcare workers, there will be 13,500 tickets to be divided up between sponsors, fan offerings and whatever else the league holds back for other franchise owners, teams or executives who will be granted a portion of the stubs.

That’s not a lot. And as the game presses closer, brokers expect the inventory to get tighter.

“If the dip over the last few days rides out a little longer, I think there will be a point where there just won’t be anymore ‘in-flow’ from the usual places,” one mid-level broker told Yahoo Sports. “At some point, that inventory is going to hit a wall and just be what it is. There won’t be the normal avenues to go out and try to piece together more ticket blocks. And that’s when I think it will get really high. Later next week [game week] will be one of the most interesting things to watch in a long time.”

With plenty of time to watch the market unfold, TickPick provided its more interesting snapshot of ticket stats. Among them:

  • Chiefs sideline tickets had a listing Tuesday for $63,093 per ticket for two seats.

  • Buccaneers sideline tickets had a listing for $51,622 per ticket for two seats.

  • The geographical breakdown of purchases on TickPick: Florida accounts for 24 percent of sales, New York for 7 and Missouri 5.

For now, that Florida home crowd looks like it’s coming to fruition for Tampa Bay.

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