Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are in a unique position as one of the only groups that can currently plan on attending games in person as the NFL season kicks off in September. The defending Super Bowl champions already have an approved attendance plan for reduced capacity amid the coronavirus, but some have issued complaints after finding out that the limited number of single-game tickets available are dramatically more expensive than the season ticket prices they would have been able to pay for the year (and will pay should they choose to keep them in 2021).
Capacity in Kansas City is limited to approximately 22 percent of normal, meaning about 16,000 at Arrowhead Stadium. But the team says its single game prices were actually set before the decision to reduce capacity had to be made – its just that existing season ticket holders aren’t used to paying such exorbitant prices.
“We understand the response because it’s been a significant jump,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. He explained the team’s rationale on a zoom call Wednesday. “Number one, that’s the value of having a season-ticket plan; you have the benefit of those ticket prices being much below market value, but you’re committed to the full season. The single game option gives you the option to pay a little more, in some cases a lot more, because you’re buying one game. You’re not obligated to pay for the full season; you’re buying one game; and you’re paying what the market rate is.”
“To defend the market rate, we’re pretty good from a data standpoint and an algorithm standpoint in our team of understanding what the ticket is really worth and being below that number. Acknowledging that there are significant jumps, a person that buys a ticket to our Houston Texans game today at the price we’re selling can put that on the secondary market that minute and make more money. Hundreds of dollars more. In some cases, a $400 ticket is going for $1,000 on the secondary marketplace. So what we’re trying to do is be fair but represent the market.”
While the point is a fair one relative to the market value of a ticket in a limited-capacity scenario, the prices mean that some fans who would have season tickets and have first dibs on single-game tickets are opting to stay at home because they’ve been priced out of the stadium.
“That’s a lot for a single game ticket,” longtime season ticket holder Randy Lynch told KCTV. Tickets similar to his season seats available for single games are approximately five times the price his season seats would have cost him. “We just decided not to do it this year. We like our group so we’re going to tailgate at home.”