Special Report

Football Teams with the Most Expensive Tickets

Tickets to a New York Giants 2013 home game are the most expensive in the NFL. The Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots have the second and third most expensive tickets.

While teams sell tickets directly, there is a thriving secondary market of tickets. Sources such as Stubhub, eBay and TicketNetwork.com SeatGeek, and many others provide a marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets. The secondary market is more reflective of current demand.

Event ticket search engine SeatGeek provided 24/7 Wall St. with the current average secondary-market ticket prices for each team for the 2013 NFL season. Based on the data, the average 2013 game for several teams costs more than $200. Home games for the New York Giants cost $292.36

Click here to see the teams with the highest-price tickets

Most of the teams with the most expensive tickets have been successful in their recent seasons. Winning teams attract more people to the games and drive up ticket prices. Teams that make this list, including the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens, are playoff contenders nearly every year. Of the 10 most recent Super Bowl champions, only one is not on this list of teams with the most expensive tickets.

According to SeatGeek representative Will Flaherty, the other teams to make this list, like the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, have had recent surges in success and popularity, which have clearly driven up prices. The average secondary-market ticket for a Seahawks game in 2011 was $93.91. In 2012, the Seahawks displayed a dominant defense and were led by exciting rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The average ticket price for the 2013 Seahawk season is $220.64, more than double the 2011 season ticket price.

The cost of secondary-market tickets is determined also by their original, primary market price. This, explained Flaherty, can be affected by the costs of living in the different cities. New York, Boston and Seattle, home to three of the most expensive teams, have among the highest costs of living in the country. In comparison, cities with the cheapest average football tickets — Cleveland, Jacksonville and St. Louis — have much lower costs of living.

Still, cost of living is not everything, Flaherty noted. Green Bay is not a particularly expensive market, but the waiting list for tickets is in the hundreds of thousands. “The Packers have insatiable demand, with a ticket waiting list of over 100,00 fans.” This more than makes up for the less expensive market. At the same time, New York Jets games are among the cheapest tickets. This is despite the fact that Jets home games are held in MetLife stadium, the same stadium that the team with the most expensive ticket, the New York Giants, also calls home.

In order to identify the NFL teams with the most expensive tickets, event ticket search engine SeatGeek provided 24/7 Wall St. with the current average secondary-market ticket prices for each team for the 2013 NFL season. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed team record and attendance data from ESPN. We also reviewed city cost of living data as of the first quarter of 2013 from the Council for Community and Economic Research. All ticket prices listed are secondary-market ticket averages, provided by SeatGeek.

These are the NFL teams with the most expensive tickets.

10. Dallas Cowboys
> Avg. ticket price: $209.20
> Stadium: AT&T Stadium
> Super Bowls in last 10 years: 0
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 88,531 (the highest)

Unlike most of the teams with the most expensive tickets in 2013, the Cowboys’ record over the past few years has been relatively poor. The team has only made it to the playoffs four times in the past 13 years, and most of those were disappointing first round exits. Possibly because of that performance, the team is the only one on this list of 10 with ticket prices that have decreased since 2011, from $227.53 on average to $209.20 for 2013. Still, the Cowboys have one of the most dedicated fan bases in the NFL. The average home game since the new AT&T Stadium was completed in 2009 has exceeded stadium capacity each year.

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9. Baltimore Ravens
> Avg. ticket price: $220.30
> Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 1
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 71,278 (9th highest)

It should not be too surprising that last year’s Super Bowl champions have among the most expensive secondary-market tickets in football this year. In fact, fans are paying even more than they did the past two years. In 2011, a ticket to a Ravens football game cost about $177. Since then, the average cost of home game tickets has increased by 24.3%. M&T Bank Stadium, which was completed in 1998 for about $220 million, sells out on a regular basis, filling its more than 70,000 seats.

8. Seattle Seahawks
> Avg. ticket price: $220.64
> Stadium: CenturyLink Field
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 0
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 67,946 (17th highest)

After multiple successful seasons and a Super Bowl appearance under quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks went through a period in which they made the postseason only once in four years. In 2012, after missing the playoffs the previous season, the Seahawks started Russell Wilson, the recently drafted quarterback. Wilson led them to their most successful season since the 2005 Super Bowl run. The team is considered by many experts to be Super Bowl favorites this year. As the team has improved and the future looks brighter, ticket sales have skyrocketed, with the average 2013 home game going for $220, compared to just an average of $93 in 2011. On Sunday, an overcapacity crowd at the famously loud CenturyLink Field set a world record for crowd volume.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers
> Avg. ticket price: $221.06
> Stadium: Heinz Field
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 2
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 61,141 (25th highest)

One of the most successful teams of the 2000s, the Steelers appeared in three Super Bowls, winning two of them. Since 2003, the team has had a record of .500 or better. However, the team has missed the playoffs in the past two years. Perhaps in part because of this recent performance, the average ticket price for the Steelers has only risen by 7.8% between 2011 and 2013, compared to the average NFL team’s tickets increasing by more than 16%. The Steelers also averaged in the bottom half of the NFL last year for meeting stadium capacity.

6. New Orleans Saints
> Avg. ticket price: $225.30
> Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 1
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 72,888 (7th highest)

The New Orleans Saints were embroiled in a controversy last year when the NFL found the team operated a bounty system that paid defense players to injure members of the opposing team. Head Coach Sean Payton and several other staff members were banned from playing in the NFL last season. That year, ticket prices took a dip, falling from the seventh most expensive on average to the 11th most expensive. Even with the blow to their PR, the Saints are still one of the most popular teams in football. And with Payton and the rest of the 2010 Super Bowl winning staff back, 2013 tickets to games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome rose to average sixth highest in the NFL.

5. Denver Broncos
> Avg. ticket price: $237.26
> Stadium: Sports Authority Field
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 0
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 76,632 (5th highest)

The Denver Broncos have been one of the most popular teams in football for years. The team’s quarterback is Peyton Manning, who, in his second season with the team, set an NFL record of seven touchdowns in the Denver home opener. According to SeatGeek estimates, three of the 10 most expensive tickets for the 2013 season will be for games against the Broncos, although none of those will be at Sports Authority Field, the team’s stadium. Broncos’ home game ticket prices have increased by more than 50% since 2011, the third highest price spike in the NFL.

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4. Green Bay Packers
> Avg. ticket price: $245.40
> Stadium: Lambeau Field
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 1
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 70,507 (10th highest)

Counting pre-Super Bowl professional football, the Green Bay Packers have won more world championships than any other NFL team, including four Super Bowls. In 2008, Aaron Rodgers replaced long-time franchise quarterback Brett Favre. Some wondered if Rodgers could fill Favre’s shoes, but he responded with four straight seasons of 10 wins or more and a Super Bowl win in 2011. In April, Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million deal, giving him the highest annual pay in the league. The average ticket price for a Packers game has increased by about 10% since 2011, a small increase compared with the other teams on this list.

3. New England Patriots
> Avg. ticket price: $277.96
> Stadium: Gillette Stadium
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 2
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 68,755 (15th highest)

The Patriots will play the Broncos at their Gillette Stadium at the end of November for what will be the most expensive football game for fans to attend this year, with the average secondary-market ticket going for $390.45. The New England team’s home stadium, which it has consistently filled since it was built in 2002, has a capacity of about 70,000. Under quarterback Tom Brady and highly respected coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have played in the Super Bowl five times since 2001. According to Forbes, the franchise is worth about $1.8 billion, second most in the NFL.

2. Chicago Bears
> Avg. ticket price: $282.16
> Stadium: Soldier Field
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 0
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 62,329 (23rd highest)

Two of the 10 most expensive games scheduled this year for attendees include games of the Bears against Dallas and New York this fall. The average secondary-market ticket price for both games — to be played at the Bears’ home stadium Soldier Field — is more than $300. The stadium, which underwent extensive renovations in 2003, seats more than 60,000 people and regularly sells out. The Bears’ head coach since 2004, Lovie Smith, was fired at the end of December last year. He was replaced by Marc Trestman, who so far this season has shown competence, winning their first two games.

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1. New York Giants
> Avg. ticket price: $292.36
> Stadium: MetLife Stadium
> Super Bowls in past 10 years: 2
> Avg. home attendance (2012): 80,495 (2nd highest)

The New York Giants have had the most expensive home game tickets the past two years. The Giants have won four Super Bowls, two of them in the past six years with Eli Manning as quarterback, when they defeated the Patriots in both 2008 and in 2012. The new MetLife Stadium, located in New Jersey and the home of both the Giants and the Jets, routinely meets its 80,000 person capacity in ticket sales. The NFL scheduled Super Bowl XLVIII to be played in February, 2014, at MetLife Stadium. Tickets for last Sunday’s game against the Broncos cost $378.02 on average, the second most expensive game for fans to attend that is scheduled this year.

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