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It is the dream of every American sport’s fan to attend the Super Bowl at least once in his or her lifetime. The cost for most fans is usually prohibitive, as attendees have to vie for hotel rooms that are sometimes booked years in advance and pay for airfare where discount priced seats are impossible to find. However, the biggest challenge and expense for those wanting to attend the Big Game is finding and purchasing tickets to the game itself.
Buying Tickets At Face Value
Face value for Super Bowl tickets increases almost every year. The first Super Bowl in 1967 didn’t even sell out, with average ticket prices of $12. In 2008, the face value for a Super Bowl ticket is $700.
Even if you are willing to splurge for this expense, it doesn’t mean that you will even have the chance. There are three major ways to buy tickets at face value, and all of them leave the process up to chance:
- Season ticket holder lottery (team going to Super Bowl)
- Season ticket holder lottery (team not going to Super Bowl)
- Official NFL lottery
Season Ticket holder Lottery (Team going to the Super Bowl)
The NFL allocates 35% of all Super Bowl tickets to the teams that are playing in the Big Game. The AFC team gets 17.5% and the NFC team gets 17.5% of the tickets. If a Super Bowl stadium seats 70,000 persons, then both teams in the game are allocated about 12,000 tickets apiece. The majority of these tickets are put into a lottery drawing for season ticket holders. On average, a season ticket holder for a team that gets into the Big Game will have about a 1 in 10 chance to buy a pair of tickets at face value. ($1,400 in 2008)
Season Ticket Holder Lottery (Team NOT going to the Super Bowl)
The NFL allocates 36% of all Super Bowl tickets to the rest of the thirty teams that didn’t make it to the Big Game (or 1.2% of tickets per team). On average, a season ticket holder for a team not going to the Super Bowl will have about a 1 in 150 chance to buy a pair of tickets at face value.
Official NFL Lottery
The NFL runs a semi-secret (or at least not blatantly announced) lottery each year in which 500 names are picked out of a hat for the rights to buy a pair of Super Bowl tickets at face value the following year. This usually occurs between February 1st and June 1st of each calendar year, and details are posted on the NFL’s official website in advance.