For longtime New York Giants season ticket holders who were shut out from buying tickets to

For longtime New York Giants season ticket holders who were shut out from buying tickets to Super Bowl XLVI, the team has a message for you: join the club: club seating, that is.

Owners of the Giants’ Mezzanine Club and Coaches Club seats at MetLife Stadium stood a good — and in some cases a better — chance at being selected for the opportunity to purchase the limited number of tickets available to see the Giants play the New England Patriots this Sunday, February 5, in Indianapolis than non-club season ticket holders.

Within an hour of Lawrence Tynes kicking a field goal that gave the Giants a 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on January 22, the roughly 21,000 Giants season ticket holders were sent an e-mail informing them about whether or not they had been chosen to purchase two $900 (face value) seats to the big game at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

Most of the Giants’ season ticket holders got bad news.

The computerized random drawing was weighted by seniority for non-club season ticket holders. For club seat holders, it was weighted by seniority and multiplied by the number of seats owned. In some cases, that gave club seat holders as many or more chances at Super Bowl tickets than non-club seat season ticket holders who had held their seats for decades longer.

For example, a non-club season ticket holder for 12 years had his or her account number entered in the lottery 12 times. A club seat holder who had four tickets for only three years had his or her account number entered the same 12 times. The last time the Giants went to the Super Bowl, in 2008, the system was based only on seniority.

The $900 face value, while not exactly a bargain, is thousands less than what tickets have been going for on the secondary market. The average price for a Super Bowl ticket on the NFL Ticket Exchange, the league’s official resale site run by Ticketmaster, was $4,337. Other ticket search engines showed similar averages heading into Super Bowl week.

The lottery frustrated some longtime season ticket holders. Differently worded emails were sent to club and non-club season ticket holders. The non-club seat holders were not told that club seat owners had different selection criteria.

“It should have been more explicitly laid out how it worked for different classes of licensees,” Dan Cillie, whose family has held tickets since the 1940s but wasn’t selected in the Super Bowl lottery, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s their prerogative to do it, but it should be explained.”

The Patriots held a similar season ticket lottery that didn’t include club and suite owners, according to Stacey James, the team’s vice president of media relations. Patriots club and suite owners at Gillette Stadium were given a separate opportunity to purchase tickets.

“Our club and suite tickets are a different clientele. There’s a different price point for their purchase and a longer-term commitment that’s part of a year-round membership,” James said.

The limited number of Super Bowl tickets available makes the chances of being selected to purchase them slim. The capacity of Lucas Oil Stadium is 68,000. The two teams in the game are each left with an allotment of about 10,000 after the league, sponsors and the other 30 NFL teams get their share. Of that 10,000, the players and staff each get a number of tickets.