Good news for ticket brokers: Two of the most tradition-rich franchises in the National Football League will meet in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, February 6 in Dallas.
Not-so-good news for ticket brokers: Those franchises are in Green Bay and Pittsburgh.
The Packers and Steelers, each of whom advanced to the Super Bowl with nail-biting wins in the conference championship games Sunday, January 23, are synonymous with NFL dominance. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 seasons and the NFL championship trophy is named after Vince Lombardi, who coached the Packers to those victories. This is their fifth trip to the Super Bowl, tied for second-most among NFC teams.
The Steelers have won an NFL-record six Super Bowls, became the first dynasty of the Super Bowl era by winning four titles in six years from 1974 through 1979 and will again lay claim to the dynasty tag if they can beat the Packers for their third Super Bowl win in the last six years.
This is a dream matchup for football buffs, one further enhanced by the makeup of the two teams. Both have dominant defenses that specialize in the big plays and are led by young quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger for Pittsburgh and Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay) who have emerged from the shadows of Super Bowl-winning legends Terry Bradshaw and Brett Favre to begin putting together Hall of Fame careers of their own.
Roger Jones, the owner of Alliance Tickets in Denver, said the presence of the Steelers and Packers in the Super Bowl will “absolutely” stoke interest and raise demand. But the small size of the competing cities — Green Bay is the smallest city with a team in one of the four major American sports while Pittsburgh is the smallest city with three major franchises — also presents a challenge to ticket brokers.
“I don’t want to insult my friends in Pittsburgh and Green Bay,” Jones told TicketNews with a chuckle. “Both have tremendous teams with tremendous followings nationwide — storied franchises. But I think that what you’re seeing is not as good as it could have been [if] one of the major markets [reached the Super Bowl].”
The Steelers and Packers, in fact, ensured a major market would not get into the Super Bowl by knocking off the New York Jets and Chicago Bears — teams from the first and third-biggest markets in America. “I think losing two metropolitan areas with a combined 15 million potential customers hurts,” Jones said.
However, the fact four well-known teams reached the conference championship game helped generate interest in the Super Bowl before the matchup was even decided. The Jets were trying to reach their first Super Bowl in 42 years — the longest drought of any team that has played in the Super Bowl — while the Bears are one of only two NFL franchises remaining from the NFL’s debut season in 1919.
“We had a lot more broker-to-broker business leading up to the championship game,” Jones said. “Brokers realized that no matter what, the matchup would be very good.”
Jones said that the broker-to-broker business remains ahead of last year, when the small market New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts squared off in Miami, while the retail side is a bit behind the Saints-Colts pace. He expects interest to subside a bit during the Super Bowl bye week before picking back up again, as usual, once the teams arrive in Dallas.
“I think it’ll be the typical Super Bowl two-week run,” Jones said. “Initial pop in the first 72 hours after the championship games and then you’ll see that lull, you’ll see a dip of maybe 10 to 15 percent in pricing. And then I think, come Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, it’ll pick back up and then the last-minute people [will begin buying tickets].”
As of this afternoon, Tuesday, January 25, StubHub.com had 1,937 tickets available to Super Bowl XLV, the cheapest of which was listed for $2,410: a seat in the upper corner of an end zone.