Want to see Super Bowl XLIX live in Arizona on Sunday? Got $8,000 to spare?
As of Thursday morning, the cheapest ticket for Sunday’s Super Bowl was $8,070, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Seats in the upper deck have been selling for $10,000 apiece, Rovell reports.
Insane: Get-in Super Bowl ticket today on @NFLTixExchange? $5,181. The Wednesday before the game last year? $1,734.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 29, 2015
So what caused ticket prices this year to become so inflated? A combination of broker collusion and short selling.
In order to “short” the market, a broker typically lists tickets in a generic section of the stadium and doesn’t’ disclose exactly where the seats are until the Wednesday before the game, when sites such as StubHub and Vivid Seats require the brokers to choose exact seat locations, or cancel the sale.
The idea for the brokers is to take money from ticket buyers when the tickets are at a higher price after the conference title games, then actually buy the tickets days later as the prices start to come down. The ease of the scheme caused more and more brokers to get in the game.
“Everyone in the business had seen that shorting had been the right move,” said a broker who requested anonymity because his company is still short tickets. “For the last five years it had been that way. Everyone was sort of sketched out by Packers. That the ticket could cost a lot of money closer to the game. So the Seahawks win and everyone is undercutting each other just to be able to offer the lowest price ticket available.”
If you bought two tickets for the game at face value, now would be a good time to pocket $20,000 and enjoy wings and beer with everybody else at home. Your treat, of course.