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Face value of the best Super Bowl tickets reaches $1,000 for the first time, but that still would be a great deal for most fans

October 17, 2008|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

The NFL likes to think of the Super Bowl as a grand affair.

Now, there's no arguing that.

For the first time, tickets for the NFL's championship game will have a four-figure face value -- $1,000 for a single seat to Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

The actual price for many fans will be much higher, considering the average cost of tickets to last season's Super Bowl was more than $4,000 in the secondary markets.

"If anything, it appears that our face value is underpriced based on demand and what people are willing to pay," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

About 17,000 of the tickets will be priced at $1,000 -- those in the club and suite sections -- with about 53,000 more priced at $800.

Also, presumably in response to the sagging economy, the league has set aside 1,000 tickets with a $500 face value, the first time the NFL has ever lowered the price from the previous season's game. Last season's ticket prices were $900 and $700.

In light of what Super Bowl tickets actually sell for, the new face value doesn't surprise experts.

"I can't believe I'm saying this, but $1,000 actually sounds low, compared to what those tickets go for in the open market," said Dan Rubendall, founder of, an online ticket brokerage firm. "The Super Bowl is the one game in town that no matter what happens -- recession, depression -- people will still pay big bucks to see it."

Over the course of 22 seasons, the face value of prime tickets has climbed from $100 to $1,000. And the cost of tickets doesn't factor in food, parking, hotels, travel and the like.

McCarthy said the league has yet to work out distribution plans for the $500 tickets. As for the other tickets, the participating teams will split 35% of them; as the host team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will receive 5%; the other 29 teams will each receive 1.2%; and 25.2% will go to the league office for business partners, charities and media.

There has long been criticism that the everyday fan has been squeezed out of the Super Bowl. The game -- along with all the festivities that come before it -- bears a closer resemblance to a weeklong corporate cocktail party.

"The Super Bowl for many years has not been a game for everyday fans," said David Carter, founder of the Los Angeles-based Sports Business Group. "It's been a celebration of football for people who finance it, and that's primarily corporate America."

Soon, the event will be even bigger.

In 2011, the Super Bowl will be played in the Dallas Cowboys' soon-to-be-constructed stadium. Owner Jerry Jones said that venue will be able to accommodate 125,000 spectators for the game -- just as long as the armrests are removed between seats.




It's a grand game

A single seat at this season's Super Bowl (Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.) will carry a face value of $1,000 for the first time:

*--* Super Bowl Ticket Prices I $12 -- $10 -- $6 II $12 III $12 IV $15 V $15 VI $15 VII $15 VIII $15 IX $20 X $20 XI $20 XII $30 XIII $30 XIV $30 XV $40 XVI $40 XVII $40 XVIII $60 XIX $60 XX $75 XXI $75 XXII $100 XXIII $100 XXIV $125 XXV $150 XXVI $150 XXVII $175 XXVIII $175 XXIX $200 XXX $350 -- $250 -- $200 XXXI $275 XXXII $275 XXXIII $325 XXXIV $325 XXXV $325 XXXVI $400 XXXVII $500 -- $400 XXXVIII $600 -- $500 -- $400 XXXIX $600 -- $500 XL $700 -- $600 XLI $700 -- $600 XLII $900 -- $700 XLIII $1,000 -- $800 -- $500 *--*

Source: Bloomberg

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