The drop in ticket prices isn’t just because America dislikes the Patriots. There’s an even more distasteful reason
On Thursday, Daniel Roberts wrote an interesting article for Yahoo! Finance noting that since the New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship last weekend, prices for Super Bowl tickets on the resale market — where most team fans buy Super Bowl tickets — have plummeted.
Across ticket resale sites, average prices for the game this year, as well as “get-in” prices (the cheapest ticket you can buy) were $500 to $1,000 lower on Wednesday than in recent years at this time, 10 days before the game.
The immediate, visceral reaction to this news from a Chiefs fan — coming as it does after a heartbreaking overtime loss just days ago — could easily be predicted: “Of course. Nobody except Mark Wahlberg likes the Patriots.”
And that’s not just pure partisanship. Prior to the game, there was solid evidence that America was rooting for the Chiefs.
— Sharon Hoffmann (@Sharonakc) January 18, 2019
Now that’s a matchup between red and blue states we can all agree looks pretty awesome!
According to the article, ticket resellers were hoping for a matchup between the Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints. Their logic seems pretty solid: it would have been easy for Saints fans to drive to Atlanta to see the game in the city’s brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Chiefs fans… well, since they hadn’t seen their team in the Super Bowl since the 1969 season, they would have been willing to travel to the game via dogsled to get to a Super Bowl in Anchorage, Alaska; a 12-hour drive to Atlanta in the family sedan (with Chiefs flags flying) would have represented no challenge at all.
(And yes… I know they have roads in Alaska. I’ve seen Ice Road Truckers on The History Channel. Why else do you think I would propose Chiefs fans might rather travel to Anchorage by dogsled? And yes… I know there is no NFL stadium in Anchorage. But the Raiders still haven’t figured out where they’re going to play in 2019, so there’s still hope for Alaskan NFL fans.)
Interviewed on the Yahoo! Finance Sportsbook podcast, TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg noted that the distance between Los Angeles and Atlanta is a factor — “it’s a really long trip,” he said — and that the Los Angeles fanbase isn’t yet fully developed. Patriots fans, however, represent a different problem for the ticket resellers.
Patriots fans, Goldberg said on the Yahoo Finance Sportsbook podcast, “have been to the Super Bowl so many times that they know how this all works… they’re not jumping on buying tickets the day of [the AFC Championship game]. They’re like, ‘I know this, ticket prices are going to go down, we’re going to wait.’” In other words, it isn’t that Patriots fans don’t want to go, it’s that they’ve learned how to time their purchase.
If I may say so, this is an extremely unsettling state of affairs. It’s bad enough that the Patriots have dominated the playoffs for the better part of two decades, and in so doing, have earned the disdain of America’s NFL fans. But now we have to learn that Patriots fans are so accustomed to their team playing in the championship that they’ve learned how to buy secondary-market tickets to the game more cheaply?
This has to stop!
Clark Hunt… Brett Veach… Andy Reid… Patrick Mahomes… America is counting on you to make this season the end of the Patriots dynasty. Don’t let us down in 2019.
And Patriots fans… thanks for the tip on how to buy Super Bowl tickets intelligently. That will be very useful over the next 10 or 15 years.