Should NFL Teams Restrict Out-Of-State Fans From Buying Tickets?

Next Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will travel north to Seattle to face the Seahawks for a spot in the Super Bowl, while the New England Patriots fly west to Denver for a showdown with the Broncos. But if hometown fans of the two visiting teams want to get tickets for either of these games, they’ll have to get them on the secondary market.

Before the Seahawks even knew they would be playing the Niners, the team announced that tickets for the NFC Championship Game at CenturyLink Field would only be available for direct sale to people with billing addresses in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

Likewise, the Denver Broncos are only making tickets to the AFC Championship Game available to people with a valid billing address in the “Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Western Kansas.”

So if you’re a football fan in Montana with money to spend, you might be in luck because you’re the only state in the country where people can buy tickets to both games. At the very least, you could resell the tickets for top-dollar to Niners and/or Patriots fans.

Obviously, the goal is to maximize the home-field advantage by restricting tickets to people in the immediate region. There will no doubt be New England and San Francisco fans at these games, some of whom are fortunate enough to live in the prescribed area, and some of whom will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on sites like StubHub or Ticketmaster’s own secondary marketplace.

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