Assessing the Market for NFL Tickets

Today’s post is courtesy of guest blogger Jesse Lawrence.

Week 1 of the NFL kicked off in style with half of the games decided by seven points or less, including the Cowboys’ Sunday Night win over the Giants and the Falcons’ Monday Night win against the Eagles. Parity is the norm in the NFL, so all fans are brimming with hope this early in the season, even if their team struggled in Week 1. Nonetheless, certain fan bases seem much more eager to see their teams play this season compared to last.

According to a secondary market ticket analysis by TiqIQ.com, the Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered this season with the largest percentage increases in asking price on the resale market. On the other hand, the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and Tennessee Titans all saw double digit dips in secondary market prices.

Here is a breakdown of each team’s yearly trend in infographic form with more analysis below:

Green Bay Packers
2014 Average Ticket Price: $227.35 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $344.44 | Change: +51.50%

Though the Packers fell to the Seattle Seahawks in last year’s NFC Championship Game, the Lambeau faithful are willing to ante up this year to see them play. That begins this week when they host Seattle, currently the second most expensive ticket in Week 2 trailing only the Eagles vs. Cowboys in Philadelphia The get-in price is currently $150 and no game this season at Lambeau Field has tickets for less than $125. The Thanksgiving Night match-up with the Chicago Bears is the most expensive game this season with a current get-in rate of $268 and an average price of $488.

Houston Texans
2014 Average Ticket Price: $194.54 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $242.43 | Change: +24.62%

The Texans were the featured team on this year’s HBO Hard Knocks and the additional exposure may have helped in increasing ticket prices on the secondary market. Houston failed to make the playoffs last year and didn’t bring in any big names in the offseason, yet here they stand with a 24.62% increase in average price on the resale market. The schedule certainly had an impact as there are three games with tickets beginning at $100 or more. In Week 5 they’ll host the Indianapolis Colts (current get-in=$119), in Week 12 they’ll face the Saints ($122) and in Week 14 they’ll face the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots ($178).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 Average Ticket Price: $143.92 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $167.36 | Change: +16.29%

Entering the season, the Jameis Winston hype certainly had Buccaneers fans excited for 2015. Immediate expectations may have dimmed with the Week 1 loss, but it’s highly likely the first few games of the season will maintain high demand. Despite current fan enthusiasm, the team’s schedule could create some problems as there is a clear divide in opponents. The next two home games on the schedule aren’t until October 4th and 11th against the Panthers and Jaguars respectively, with tickets available for as low as $30. Then they will have two November home games against the Giants and Cowboys, both typically high-demand opponents, with tickets starting at a much higher $91 and $114.

San Francisco 49ers
2014 Average Ticket Price: $379.22 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $234.06 | Change: -38.28%

It’s the second year of the NFL for Levi’s Stadium and with that comes significantly lower ticket prices. It’s typical to see a decrease in secondary market ticket prices the year following the debut of a new stadium, and combined with the amount of change the organization went through this offseason, the result has been a 38.28% drop in prices year over year. Monday night’s 20-3 victory over the Vikings proved the 49ers could still be a playoff contender, but as of now, they just aren’t generating the same demand on the secondary ticket market.

New Orleans Saints
2014 Average Ticket Price: $250.30 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $206.54 | Change: -17.48%

New Orleans went just 7-9 last year after going 11-5 and losing in the Divisional Round to the Seahawks in 2013. The down year appears to have had an impact on ticket prices as the Saints have seen a 17.48% decline year over year in the average price on the resale market. An opening week loss to the Cardinals certainly won’t help, but they’ll have plenty of opportunities to make some noise early in the schedule. In Week 4 they’ll host the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, a game that currently has a get-in price of $198 and an average price of $404. That’s the most expensive ticket this season for the Saints, followed by November 1st against the Giants with a current get-in at $100 and an average of $245.

Tennessee Titans
2014 Average Ticket Price: $155.48 | 2015 Average Ticket Price: $132.86 | Change: -14.55%

If Sunday is any indication of how the Titans will play this season, you can certainly expect their current average ticket price of $132.86 to increase. Their first home game will be in Week 3 against Indianapolis with tickets currently starting at $76. The biggest reason why Titans tickets are down this year isn’t because of a lack of interest in Marcus Mariota, it’s due to scheduling. Last year’s home slate featured the Cowboys, Steelers, and Giants – three of the most popular franchises in the NFL. Tickets for those games had average prices on the resale market of $290, $236, and $190 respectively when last season began. No Titans home game this season currently has an average price above $180, so while the excitement level in Nashville is certainly up, Cowboys, Steelers, and Giants fans won’t be buying up any Titans tickets this year.

Jesse Lawrence is the CEO of TiqIQ, a ticket market search engine and analytics provider that works with over 50 professional and college teams to help them optimize ticket sales.