At a time when the NFL is facing periodic criticism for not making Super Bowl tickets available to fans, the NFL plans to take new steps to ensure that, as to a specific chunk of Super Bowl tickets made specifically available to fans, the fans that buy them will use them — and not turn a profit on them.
Commissioner Roger Goodell tells Gary Myers of the New York Daily News that 1,000 tickets have been made available to fans at $500 a pop, and that the fans who bought the tickets must be the same fans who show up and use them.
“[W]hat we did this year is we’re not allowing the fans to transfer those,” Goodell told Myers. “That’s what happened in the past. Well over half the fans in the past used to take those tickets and then resell them on the secondary ticket market. We said, listen, we want the fans to go, so if you want to go, we have a system where they’re really not getting their tickets until they get inside security and they can’t go back out again. So, we’re reaching out to make sure our games continue to be successful and we have different price points. That’s what we do during the regular season with our games and that’s what we do during the Super Bowl. Tickets are trading at least on some of the secondary markets at an even higher multiple than they were last year.”
Asked whether prices that extend beyond $500 to as high as $2,500 keep the “average fan” from attending the Super Bowl, Goodell got a little creative.
“What’s the average fan?” Goodell said. “We don’t have average fans. We have great fans. We have fans that are passionate. Obviously fans have different economic challenges. Some can do it, some can’t. But that’s why we have different price points and $500 to higher priced tickets, based on the experience. I don’t know what your description of the average fan is. I’d like to think of our fans as passionate.”
The fans are definitely passionate. And there are millions of them. But if all those passionate fans easily could afford to pay that much for Super Bowl tickets, few if any games would be on free TV.