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Super Bowl 53 ticket prices fall because Patriots fans have been there, done that

As soon as the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the AFC Championship game to stamp their ticket to Super Bowl 53, prices on secondary ticketing sites fell. And they have kept falling in the days since.

Across ticket resale sites, average prices for the game this year, as well as “get-in” prices (the cheapest ticket you can buy) were $500 to $1,000 lower on Wednesday than in recent years at this time, 10 days before the game.

In a normal year, Super Bowl ticket prices on resale sites spike after Championship weekend when the games end and we all learn the matchup, and then they start to go down steadily in the week before the game. (The exception was 2015, infamous in the ticketing industry, when the Patriots faced the Seattle Seahawks in Phoenix, Ariz., and demand never waned as it normally does, and many ticket resellers ended up in the red because they had over-sold tickets they did not have.)

This year, prices are already plummeting. On secondary market site TickPick, the get-in price as of Wednesday afternoon was $3,120 compared to the $3,680 at this time last year, and the average price was $5,790 compared to $6,514 at this time last year.

El quarterback Tom Brady, derecha, festeja con sus compañeros de los Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra tras vencer a los Chiefs de Kansas City en el partido por el campeonato de la Conferencia Americana de la NFL, el domingo 20 de enero de 2019, en Kansas City, Missouri. (AP Foto/Charlie Neibergall)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with teammates after the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, Missouri on Jan. 20, 2019. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg says that’s about the fanbase for the Patriots, and the distance for the Rams.

Patriots fans, Goldberg said on the Yahoo Finance Sportsbook podcast, “have been to the Super Bowl so many times that they know how this all works... they’re not jumping on buying tickets the day of [the AFC Championship game]. They’re like, ‘I know this, ticket prices are going to go down, we’re going to wait.’” In other words, it isn’t that Patriots fans don’t want to go, it’s that they’ve learned how to time their purchase.

For Rams fans, coming from Los Angeles “is clearly a bad thing for ticket sales because it’s a really long trip,” says Goldberg. “And that fanbase has only been around for a couple years. If you were a St. Louis Rams fan, this is no longer really relevant to you anymore.”

Super Bowl ticket prices on TickPick in the days leading up to the game, since 2010. 2015 (purple) was an anomaly; 2019 data (highlighted blue) is through Jan. 23, 2019.
Super Bowl ticket prices on TickPick in the days leading up to the game, since 2010. 2015 (purple) was an anomaly; 2019 data (highlighted blue) is through Jan. 23, 2019.

The best matchup for ticket sales, Goldberg says, would have been the Saints and the Chiefs, because Saints fans in New Orleans could drive to the game this year in Atlanta, and Chiefs fans would have made the trip and spent the money because it’s such a thrill that the team has made it.

“Given how many times the Patriots have been to the Super Bowl, and probably the lack of demand from Rams fans, this will be one of the least-desired Super Bowl tickets, from the fanbases, since 2014.” In 2014, the Super Bowl was in New Jersey and Seattle Seahawks fans did not want to make the trip cross-country.

Still, Super Bowl 53 has something big going for it: Atlanta. The game is at brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons and the Atlanta United MLS team, and known for its extremely low food prices. As for Atlanta, “That city and that downtown is designed perfectly for a Super Bowl,” Goldberg says. “When we look at Super Bowl 50 [held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.], it was pitched as San Francisco, but it wasn’t.”

Listen to TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg on the Yahoo Finance Sportsbook podcast:

Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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