Ho hum. The Pittsburgh Steelers are hosting the AFC Championship Game. What else is new?
That seems to be the philosophy of ticket brokers and buyers as the Steelers prepare to battle the New York Jets Sunday, January 23 for a spot in Super Bowl XLV two weeks later. The Steelers are hosting the AFC title game for the second time in three years, the third time in seven years, the fourth time this century and the seventh time in the last 17 years. They are also making their eighth overall appearance in the game in the last 17 years.
This recent success is no aberration for the Steelers, which will be playing for the AFC title for a record 15th time, have won a record six Super Bowls and have appeared in the Super Bowl seven times, one shy of the Dallas Cowboys’ record.
“People have seen [the Steelers win] more than once,” Wanamaker Ticket Office general manager Jake Conaway told TicketNews. “I think those fans are so accustomed to seeing their team in the championship/Super Bowl that they’d rather have six, seven, eight hundred dollars in their pocket and sell a couple tickets.”
As of this afternoon, Wednesday January 19, StubHub.com had 1,454 tickets available to the Steelers-Jets game, the cheapest of which was a seat in Upper Level 526 listed for $246. The cheapest ticket at Tickemaster.com earlier this month was $115 before service charges.
Even the presence of a relatively local opponent in the famously star-crossed Jets — who won Super Bowl III but have not been back to the big game since, the longest such drought among franchises that have reached the Super Bowl — hasn’t done a lot to generate demand. The Jets are making their second straight appearance in the AFC Championship Game (they lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 30-17, last year) but their fans may be saving up for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them in the Super Bowl.
“It doesn’t matter what [opponent] is in that game, at this point, because it’s been such a tradition lately to see the Pittsburgh Steelers make it that far,” Conaway said.