Super Bowl 2012 will be a rematch of 2008's New England Patriots-New York Giants game, but don't expect that to push Super Bowl ticket prices down.
The starvation factor isn't quite there for Giants and Patriots fans as it would have been had the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers made the Super Bowl, but Indianapolis' closer proximity to the two markets than Glendale, Ariz., was in 2008 ensures for a strong ticket market.
I think the one thing that is driving the demand this year is that Indianapolis is so much closer to both teams than Glendale was in 2008, said Joellen Ferrer, a spokesperson for StubHub. The demand is about 15 percent higher now than it was in 2008; though the secondary market was quite different in 2008 than it is now.
The Giants famously knocked off the Patriots in the closing seconds with a Plaxico Burress touchdown to give them a 17-14 victory. New York fans likely look back fondly upon that game, while Patriots fans might be dreading another Super Bowl against the New York foe. Ferrer said New York/New Jersey buyers are currently substantially outnumbering New England buyers, though she admitted that it is still early in the process.
The current buyer breakdown, according to StubHub data, is: 13 percent from New York; 10 percent from California; 8 percent each from New Jersey and Indianapolis; and 7 percent from Massachusetts. The sluggish interest from Massachusetts could be attributed to the Patriots playing in the Super Bowl five times within the last 11 years.
TiqIQ, an event ticket aggregator that includes listings from StubHub, has the secondary market selling tickets down 13.7 percent from last year, but last year featured two extremely rabid fan bases in the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. The San Francisco 49ers could have injected some added interest in Super Bowl tickets because the team has struggled for the last decade, but also would have had a tougher time making it to Indianapolis than the majority of the Giants and Patriots fan bases.
The Giants and Patriots represent two major markets, but Ferrer says that fans have to take into account that Indianapolis isn't considered a destination city for the Super Bowl and that they might have to deal with a snowy experience.
StubHub's page has seen considerable interest in the last 48 hours -- more than 2 million page views on its Super Bowl listing page -- but eventually the interest and prices should level off once fans decide if going to the Super Bowl is a viable possibility.
Right now many fans could be looking at the Super Bowl as a possibility, according to Ferrer, but it won't be until Thursday or Friday that only the truly interested buyers are left. She noted that ticket prices do fluctuate greatly and that fans have learned that ticket prices tend to drop as it closer to the actual game day.
Main thing for people to know is that prices will fluctuate, she said. Fans do understand tickets have a shelf life and that tickets come down when it gets closer to game time. My advice is to keep checking and that prices will fluctuate and know that listing prices are much different than what fans are willing to pay.
Super Bowl tickets have a face value of $800 to $1200, but the cheapest option on StubHub currently goes for $2,500. Ferrer expects that price to drop -- she noted that prices have dropped to face value in the past -- but that she didn't expect it to settle significantly.