Despite an initial whirlwind of controversy, the signing of Michael Vick by the Philadelphia Eagles may not have the negative affect on ticket sales that was expected.
From a football perspective, he will be a dynamic asset to the team’s offense, but now it also appears that Vick could help contribute to the Eagles’ financial success through jersey and ticket sales, or at least not hurt them.
According to CNBC, ticket sales tripled last week for the Eagles-Falcons game in Atlanta on December 6, after the Eagles announced that they had signed Vick.
The Atlanta Falcons’ Vice President of Football Communications, Reggie Roberts, acknowledged the jump in ticket sales when he spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We never provide specific numbers on how tickets are going, but for obvious reasons, we’ve seen a spike in single-game ticket sales for our December 6 game against the Eagles. That game is very close to being sold out.”
StubHub Corporate Communications Manager Joellen Ferrer echoed that sentiment.
“We saw a noticeable spike very quickly in both Philly and Atlanta last Friday, as soon as [the Vick signing] was announced,” she told TicketNews. “Sales spiked for the full slate of Eagles games, but an even more significant spike was for Falcons tickets, particularly the 12/6 game when they host the Eagles.”
The popularity of the Eagles-Falcons game can also be seen in rising ticket prices. On TicketLiquidator today, August 21, the cheapest ticket available was an upper level endzone ticket for $107. Comparatively, a ticket in the exact section is available for the Falcons-Bills game on December 27 for only $28. TicketLiquidator and TicketNews are both owned by TicketNetwork.
The controversy surrounding Vick was also a risk for the Eagles because they were not sure how sponsors or fans would react to the news. However, these fears have been put to rest as the responses by most people have been positive.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age reported this week that none of the Eagles’ 44 corporate sponsors backed out of their deals, and that fewer than 10 season-ticket holders cancelled their subscription in protest of the Vick signing.
This is not to say that everyone is happy about the Vick signing, as some fans are selling their Eagles tickets on sites like eBay and Craigslist in protest. However, these fans seem to be in the minority, as these tickets are being snatched up by other eager fans.