Why the Most Expensive Super Bowl Ticket Costs $25,400

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As Super Bowl 50 approaches, fans of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos — and football fans in general — are scrambling to find reasonably priced seats at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. At last check, the average list price of a ticket to the February 7 event was a whopping $5,659.60. Some individual seats are being sold for several times more than this. One — section 138, row 22 — is available for an unbelievable $25,400.

This year’s average Super Bowl ticket is 17.10% higher than it was at this time last year — which could mean prices will go even higher from here. By the time the 2015 Super Bowl was underway, secondary market tickets averaged $9,722.86 per game, by far the most expensive on record. Even if prices do not increase any further, they will have already more than doubled the final price of the 2014 event in New Jersey — Super Bowl XLVIII averaged “just” $2,567.00. Secondary market ticket resource TiqIQ provided 24/7 Wall St. with the average ticket price for the previous six Super Bowls as well as the current prices for the upcoming game to be held in San Francisco.

Click here to see how this year’s Super Bowl prices compare to previous years. 

Ticket prices for the biggest game in North American professional sports can fluctuate wildly. Fans sitting in the 400s section are currently paying an average of $3,289 per seat, while those in the 100s level are spending close to $900 more on average. Of course, there are sections that run closer to $10,000, and individual seats that exceed $25,000 — a brand new Honda Civic and a seat in the uppe as the $25,400 seat, which approximately at the 50 yard line — on sale for $25,400. Box suites are available for more than $350,000.

TiqIQ CEO Jesse Lawrence explained how certain factors can cause tickets for the big game to vary so much from year to year, and also why Super Bowl 50 may become the most expensive to date. The first is the average high disposable income of residents in the San Francisco metropolitan area. A typical San Francisco household has an annual income of $83,222 — the fifth highest of any U.S. metro area.

The second factor that tends to affect Super Bowl ticket prices, and is likely driving up the cost of this year’s game, is the distance from the competing teams’ home cities and the location of the event. Lawrence explained that fanbases of some teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, are very willing to travel. He added that while Broncos fans were not quite in that tier, the distance from Denver to San Francisco is close enough to be manageable for a large segment of the Broncos fanbase — likely much more so than the last time Denver played in the Super Bowl — in New Jersey in 2013.

“The third factor, I think,” Lawrence concluded, “is the historic signifier that is Super Bowl 50, the fact that it is the 50th. There’s people, I think, that aren’t even fans of either team that are going just because of that.”

This is how much each of the last six Super Bowls cost on average in the secondary market, as well as the current prices for the upcoming game as of the time of writing. Also included was the minimum an individual would need to pay to attend each game. All price data was supplied by secondary market ticket resource TiqIQ.