An interesting thought just occurred to us as we continued to monitor the resale marketplace for Super Bowl LII as the game approaches on Sunday in Minneapolis.

It’s entirely possible that the record-high prices we’re seeing on the secondary marketplaces are due in large part to the NFL pulling more and more inventory into special packages for the uber-wealthy via its recent purchase of PrimeSport (via On Location Experiences, which is partially owned by league owners). PrimeSport already had a healthy amount of Super Bowl tickets in hand before its acquisition by On Location, which is partially owned by the NFL ownership. With more consolidation comes more scarcity for people buying tickets by themselves – which drives prices up.

Prevailing wisdom was that a Vikings loss in the NFC Championship would cause prices to fall off – after all, what would keep prices higher than a first-ever home game for the Lombardi Trophy, at least in the Super Bowl era? Prices fell throughout last week, but they’ve stabilized, and appear to be heading back up – and it’s likely that the league itself is playing a key role.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, the “get-in” price has moved back north of $4,000 across the board, after all fees are totaled into the purchase. Prices start at $4,087.50 on Ticket Club, jumping just shy of $300 for the get-in on Vivid Seats ($4,377.48), a hair more for StubHub ($4,412,50) and then another $150+ to the lowest price ticket through Ticketmaster+ ($4,591.88).

Those numbers are slightly up from Tuesday, which saw Ticket Club have tickets available for just shy of $4,000 until early afternoon. They’re up substantially from the end of last week, where prices had fallen to see a minimum get-in edge into the high $2,000 range on Ticket Club Friday afternoon.

Fans will likely grouse about the prices – which would set a record for highest average price in Super Bowl history should prices hold up – but with so much allocation going directly to the package market, it’s no wonder prices are staying strong… there’s less risk with less inventory.