With the NFL lockout no longer in place, fans have been rushing to scoop up tickets. But experts say that frugal football fanatics could save more by waiting out this first wave of ticket-buying.
While the face value of many tickets hasn’t changed since last year, resale prices have spiked following months of pent-up demand. Right now, prices for NFL tickets on resale sites are up 23% over the same period from 2010.
Most seats at NFL stadiums belong to season ticket holders and many of the remaining other seats sold out immediately once tickets went up for sale. Thus, for most of us looking to score tickets, the resale price is effectively the retail price.
“It’s a uniquely bad time to buy tickets right now,” Jack Groetzinger, the co-founder of SeatGeek.com tells SmartMoney. “We’ve seen an explosion of fan interest over the last two days.”
But the discounts get better as the season wears on, especially if your team underperforms — the curse of being a frugal football fan. And there are signs attendance is gradually, if slowly, declining, offering more opportunities to scoop up tickets. Attendance is down 4% from a record high in 2007, and the NFL “blacked out” TV broadcasts of more games last year than it did the year before, in an effort to lure fans to the stadium. In theory, that should lead to marginally more resale and box office ticket availability.
Experts say to avoid buying tickets for the first few games when hype is high and all teams are, at least mathematically, playoff contenders. Also, you can set up price alerts on the resale sites so that you’ll know if those tickets you’re looking for have dropped down to an acceptable level.
A rep for StubHub says, “[O]nce talk about the lockout fades, prices will likely settle.”
NFL Fans: Don’t Blitz the Box Office — Yet [SmartMoney.com]