Super Bowl XLVI preview: Pats-Giants rematch drives ticket sales Super Bowl XLVI preview: Pats-Giants rematch drives ticket sales
A case of super déjà vu has fans and ticketing professionals excited about the match-up for Super Bowl XLVI on February 5 in Indianapolis,... Super Bowl XLVI preview: Pats-Giants rematch drives ticket sales

A case of super déjà vu has fans and ticketing professionals excited about the match-up for Super Bowl XLVI on February 5 in Indianapolis, IN.

The New York Giants and New England Patriots will meet in two weeks at Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be a rematch of one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever — New York’s 17-14 victory over New England in 2008 that ruined the Patriots’ perfect season.

The big-market showdown offers plenty of compelling story lines that have ticket sellers hopeful of high demand and soaring prices.

“The market is very strong,” Jim Holzman, owner of Boston-based Ace Ticket, told TicketNews. “It’s a payback game here in Boston. Plus, you’ve got that whole New York-Boston thing going, the greatest rivalry in sports, to add into it.”

Average Market Prices

Early numbers from ticket search site TiqIQ.com show the average ticket price on the secondary market at $4,054. That’s 11 percent higher than last year’s $3,649 average for Super Bowl XLV’s Packers-Steelers pairing. Meanwhile, TiqIQ shows “get-in” prices for Giants-Pats averaging $1,950 — nearly 14 percent lower than last year’s $2,260.

“It’s exactly the match-up we wanted,” Jason Berger, president of New York-based AllShows.com, told TicketNews. “We’re selling a lot of tickets. We’re about where we thought we’d be with these teams.”

The NFL-set face values for Super Bowl XLVI tickets are $800, $900 and $1,200.

By mid-day on January 23, one day after the Pats’ and the Giants’ respective AFC and NFC Championship Game victories, there already had been more than 600,000 page views for Super Bowl tickets on StubHub.com, company spokesperson Joellen Ferrer told TicketNews. Super Bowl ticket searches alone accounted for 40 percent of StubHub’s traffic during that time.

SeatGeek.com had an average resale price of $3,270 just hours after the Giants’ 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Of the nearly 7,500 tickets listed, the lowest price was $2,175, while five luxury suites had asking prices of more than $500,000.

According to Darren Rovell of CNBC, the average price for tickets sold on Ticketmaster TicketExchange, the NFL’s official resale site, was $4,183 on Monday. The most expensive tickets sold through the site fetched more than $11,000.

FanSnap.com’s average jumped from $4,565 to $4,648 after the Giants’ victory. Its “get-in” price early this week was $2,210. The site had about 6,700 tickets listed.

Those figures are in line with four years ago, when a ticket to the first Giants-Pats Super Bowl meeting in averaged $4,190.

“The prices are great,” Holzman said. “The market has gone up 10 to 12 percent since the opening bell, when we knew who’d be playing.”

A Memorable Rematch

Super Bowl XLII in 2008 featured one of the most memorable plays in NFL history: A miracle catch by the Giants’ David Tyree set up an Eli Manning touchdown pass that beat the Pats with 35 seconds left. Expect to see plenty of replays of both passes the next two weeks.

The teams come in on similar paths this time around. Dramatic kicks in each championship game — one missed, one made — secured the rematch.

While not perfect, the Pats (15-3) have won 10 in a row. In fact, their last loss was at home to the Giants on November 6. New England survived a defensive struggle with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game and came away with a 23-20 victory when the Ravens missed a potential tying field goal with 11 seconds left.

The Giants (12-7), as they did in ’08, revived their season with must-wins to reach the postseason. Their playoff run included an upset of the NFC top-seeded Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, before moving on to San Francisco and outlasting the 49ers on Lawrence Tynes’ field goal in OT.

“You couldn’t have had two more exciting games,” Holzman said, referring to the conference championships leading up to this Super Bowl showdown. “I think that got the impartial fan into it.”

Who’s Buying?

StubHub’s buyer breakdown as of Monday showed 13 percent of purchasers from New York, 10 percent from California, 8 percent from New Jersey, 8 percent from Indiana, and 7 percent from Massachusetts. SeatGeek had similar numbers for its shoppers (17 percent from New York, three times as many as Massachusetts).

“How prices trend really will be a function of how ticket supply moves over the next few days,” FanSnap general manager Mike Janes told TicketNews. “Meaning, will potential sellers actually be willing to offer their tickets, or is this a ‘can’t miss’ event?”

It’s the first time Indy and the four-year-old Lucas Oil Stadium have hosted a Super Bowl, although the city is no stranger to big-time sporting events, such as the NCAA Final Four and the Indianapolis 500.

Along with game ticket prices, flights from the East Coast and hotel room costs are spiking upward.

Hotels in downtown Indianapolis are mostly all booked, as the NFL snapped up rooms months ago, and so fans will have to look for accomodations outside the city. They can also expect to pay in the neighborhood of $1,000 for non-stop, round-trip airfare from the New York City and Boston areas.

The Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee’s official Web site includes travel, event and accommodation information for the big game’s attendees.

Holzman and Berger said they’re pleased with their sales of travel packages to the game. Ace Ticket bills itself as “the official fan travel partner” of the Patriots and is offering a one-day package for $4,900 and a four-day plan for $8,250. Both include hotel and airfare.

For the adventurous — and frugal — there’s always the 12-15 hour drive to Indianapolis from New York or Boston. Fans could try to wait it out and see if ticket prices drop as it gets closer to kickoff.

“We will monitor prices closely to see how they trend,” Janes said. “Last year, they declined and then strongly rebounded, while the prior year, prices generally declined prior to the game.”