On Location Experiences Dictates Super Bowl Secondary Market Pricing

On Location Experiences

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will seat 75,000 for Super Bowl 53, but nearly everyone in attendance will have obtained their seat through the league office (25.2%), the Patriots (17.5%), the Rams (17.5), the Falcons (5%) or one of the other 29 NFL clubs (34.8%, 1.2% each); team personnel, players, sponsors and season ticket holders will comprise more than 95% of those in attendance. For those without access to a face value ticket, the league office and each of the 32 teams allocated a combined 9,500 tickets to On Location Experiences – the official hospitality arm of the NFL – for inclusion in packages (think: pre-game parties, on-field access) that are available to the general public. The cheapest way for the average fan to get into the game remains the secondary ticketing market. As of Thursday (1.31) evening, the get-in price was $2,300 and Stubhub still had 2,800 seats for sale.

Howie Long-Short: Since every NFL player is given the option of buying a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl at face value, no contingent has access to more seats at cost than the players do. The face value on Super Bowl 53 tickets ranges from $900 to $5,000.

The Super Bowl secondary ticketing market has evolved. For years, ticket prices were almost always exclusively determined by the game’s match-up, but now that the supply has been consolidated to On Location Experiences (and Prime Sport, acquired by OLE in Dec. ‘17) pricing has become a function of yield management strategies and how the company wants to manage the market. OLE initially priced their packages between $5,000 – $17,500, higher than the market could bear.

On Thursday afternoon Darren Rovell reported that the OLE “dumped 179 tickets at the bottom of the market – $2,232.50 before fees.” The company overpriced the ticket packages, failed to sell through their allotment and are now being forced to liquidate, but that doesn’t mean the market is about to collapse. On Location Experiences won’t liquidate in a publicly facing manner (on a site like Stubhub), they’ll sell the tickets at face value to league partners so that pricing remains stable on the public facing marketplaces.

This year’s Super Bowl secondary ticketing market has been up and down. The get-in price was $2,700 when the conference championship games ended on Sunday 1.20. Prices dipped Monday-Thursday of the following week, but never fell below $2,000. By Wednesday 1.30 prices were back up to $2,600, before dropping $300 yesterday.

Fan Marino: Fans unable to afford tickets (see: most) still have a chance (albeit slight) to attend a future Super Bowl. The NFL gives away 500 seats each year to “the most deserving fans”; a collection of “community heroes” and the league’s “most avid followers”. Last year’s recipients included an 8th grade football team from Minneapolis, a fire chief with Stage 4 brain cancer and 4 LAPD police officers. Think you’re deserving of going to Super Bowl 54 (and want to take a time machine back to 1990)? Send your written request for tickets to Super Bowl ADA Random Drawing 345 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10154. Yes, the NFL will only accept written entries to the contest via snail mail; in 2019.

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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