Who Is Shopping for Super Bowl Tickets?

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While it’s only Week 7, it’s not too early for some fans to be looking ahead to February, which is when the 52nd Super Bowl will take place in Minnesota. Based on new data from On Location Experiences (OLE), the official hospitality partner of the NFL, the two geographical areas that are most excited about the possibility of attending the big game are Minnesota (not surprising) and Philadelphia (surprising). For any Super Bowl, the biggest source of ticket demand is the host region, and this year is no different with Minnesota accounting for 10% of all visits to OLE’s website site, located at NFLOnlocation.com. At 13% of visits, though, Eagles fans are more enthusiastic than anyone, which isn’t something anyone expected.

In a year when the NFC now seems up for grabs, both the Eagles and Vikings sit atop their respective divisions. At 5-1, the Eagles are now tied for the best record in the NFL, and after their Week 6 win against the Panthers, oddsmakers moved them up to the 3rd most likely team to reach the Super Bowl, behind the Patriots and Steelers. According to OLE, for now, Eagles fans are just window shopping, with Minnesota traffic accounting for the most sales.

On Location is the only service allowing fans to purchase verified Ticketmaster tickets directly from the NFL for Super Bowl LII. Prices range from $6,299 to $13,499, and in addition to the ticket, OLE offers fans a variety of perks. The most affordable option comes with a pre-game tailgate at the Armory featuring former NFL stars in an ‘interactive environment, which might mean high fiving some former NFL legends. For fans that really want to get interactive with current players, OLE’s Platinum package includes also comes with on-field access to celebrate right along side the winning team. (Eagles?)

In the hyper competitive world of ticket packages, this kind of on-field access is something that no other super bowl ticket sellers can offer. As cool as that is, it may not be the most unique thing about buying from them. That advantage may be the fact that fans purchasing tickets from OLE actually know the specific seats they will be sitting in and can pick up their tickets when they arrive at the stadium.

Over the years, the main channel for buying Super Bowl tickets has been via the Secondary market, and picking up tickets in the host city has often required an assumption of faith that the tickets were actually real. Depending on the year, prices have varied significantly, based on the matchup and location.

Over the last ten years, close to one million Super Bowl tickets have been sold through many different sites, from Stubhub to TicketIQ and Seatgeek. In all but a few cases, buyers routinely spent five-figures without even knowing exactly what they were buying. That reality resulted in something called speculative selling, which happens when brokers make a bet on the direction of the ticket market without actually owning a ticket. It’s been a major problem for many events over the years, but none worse than 2015, when hundreds of Patriots and Seahawks fans bought tickets in the secondary market only to find out they had vanished upon arriving in Glendale.

It was a worst nightmare scenario for both the NFL and the fans attending. It should come as no surprise that OLE, which is partially owned by the NFL, was established less than a year after the Patriots/Seahawks debacle. While it’s still too early to know where prices will end up if the Eagles do find a way to get to Minnesota, prices are sure to SOAR. If last year’s secondary market was any indication, that could mean that the cheapest tickets will cost around $5,000.