Super Bowl tickets for the matchup between Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, might be the most expensive on record. The cheapest ticket available Friday on StubHub was a whopping $8,745.25, as of 2:30 p.m. ET.
TiqIQ listed the average ticket price as $10,556, compared with $3,376 in 2014, a 212-percent increase. The reason for the steep hike in prices was a quick drop in ticket availability.
“A lot of this is sort of by demand,” said Rob Sine, vice president of ticket sales for Pac-12.
“The general public can’t buy tickets to this on their own.”
Secondary marketplaces, like StubHub or TiqIQ, were flooded with brokers “shorting” tickets when they first went on sale, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. Shorting is when a broker promises tickets to a buyer at an early date when prices are high, only to purchase the tickets later, for a cheaper price. The broker then delivers the ticket for the original, more expensive price.
The practice has become commonplace but when a limited supply of tickets were available for purchase at later dates, prices drove up wildly, as businesses scrambled to deliver promised tickets. Some seat prices have risen to incredible levels. The highest priced ticket on Friday at StubHub, the largest secondary market, was a lower corner seat listed at $49,999.99.
Looking at prior years, this may be the most expensive Super Bowl to attend in history. The next highest average-price came in 2012, which was just $4,215. The Patriots also played in the 2012 Super Bowl, which is key, because the team’s fans travel well.
“Having the Patriots as a part of this is a big piece of it,” Sine said.
Prices also rose because it’s a marquee matchup, and an important game for Patriots fans sensing the closing window of a dynasty, Sine said. Pats fans travel well, but Seahawks fans are fervent supporters too. In fact, TiqIQ rates them as the highest-priced NFL ticket in the secondary market.
Usually prices drop as the big game approaches, especially by Sunday. In 2014, seats went for an average of $2,567 on the day of the contest. Ticket prices may decline, but perhaps by not as much as usual. Sine said he didn’t expect a drop lower than 1.5 times face value.