With less than four days to go before Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, the question being asked is not how many touchdowns the Arizona Cardinals or Pittsburgh Steelers will score but how low ticket prices will go for the game.
The Super Bowl is traditionally one of the hottest tickets in sports, but this year’s match up continues to suffer from a weak economy and lackluster interest from fans, particularly when one of the two teams, the Cardinals, has a legacy of losing seasons and has never played in the game in the Super Bowl’s 43-year history.
“The Super Bowl is very soft this year and the market is coming down as we speak. I think the economy has a lot to do with it,” Paul Incerto, President of TrueNorthTickets.com, told TicketNews. “Last year, the market started very high and came down every day leading up to the game, but this year the market was soft from the beginning and is getting worse. However, I do have customers that are still looking to buy, but they are waiting for the prices to come down.”
Face value for the majority of tickets is $800, with almost 20,000 premium tickets carrying a face value of $1,000. About 1,000 tickets have a face value of $500.
But on Web sites like StubHub and TicketNews’s parent company TicketNetwork, ticket prices earlier today were starting at just over $1,500 (StubHub) and just over $1,100 (TicketNetwork). On other sites, prices were hovering around the $1,300 range, well under prices for previous years.
And those prices are sinking. In addition, the Tampa Bay region reportedly is not seeing as many hotel reservations as expected, and restaurant business is down.
“As things are going now, this is heading towards one of the worst Super Bowls in terms of tickets in a while,” Incerto added.
On new Web site FanSnap, which lists tickets from dozens of partner sites, including StubHub and TicketNetwork, there were more than 5,000 listings for Super Bowl tickets as of today. On January 23, there were more than 9,000 listings for tickets, and prices are down about 10 percent to about $1,300 each, compared to it high mark on January 17.
“To have more than 5,000 listings at this time is a very high amount,” said FanSnap founder and CEO Mike Janes.
The Super Bowl was the top-selling event for the week ending January 25, according to TicketNews’s exclusive weekly ranking, and StubHub said that bargains are bringing out buyers on its site.
However, a couple of brokers said they had not seen prices this low since the New Orleans Super Bowl in early 2002 following 9/11, when the country was in a decidedly more somber mood. “Other than that year I have not seen prices this low in about 15 years,” said Tom Wilson of Tixx.com. Demand remains very weak despite prices being the lowest ever compared to the tickets’ face value. Right now, upper level end zone tickets are only going for 50 percent over the face value.”
“I think a lot of local Florida fans will end up getting some great bargains,” Janes said.