Falcons, Packers fans scramble for tickets
GREEN BAY – As soon as Mason Crosby's kick cleared the goalposts Sunday night, Packers fans began buying tickets for Sunday's NFC championship game in Atlanta.
They weren't alone. Atlanta Falcons fans flooded to ticket sites as well, because they didn't know they would host the NFC championship until the Cowboys were defeated 34-31 by the Packers on that last-second field goal.
As of Monday evening, the lowest-price tickets on resale sites ranged from $294 to $315, not including fees. According to TicketIQ, the Falcons-Packers game was the third-most expensive NFC conference championship game in seven years of tracking.
The New England-Pittsburgh AFC championship game is the most expensive, which probably won't change because tickets for that game are in high demand. As of Monday morning, NFL Ticket Exchange, the official secondary market for the NFL, said it had no tickets remaining. Other secondary market vendors reported prices starting as $325 to $333 per ticket.
SeatGeek's analysis on Monday determined an average resale price of $484 for the NFC game, which would make it the most expensive Falcons game ever, and $636 for the AFC game.
"There was a huge amount of demand from Falcons fans right after yesterday's game, and that coupled with interest from Packers fans both near and far caused a spike in interest," said Chris Leyden of SeatGeek.
TicketIQ said the Atlanta game is twice as expensive as the 2013 game the Falcons hosted and the most expensive at the Georgia Dome since 2011.
Prices normally come down pretty quickly in tight selling windows, Leyden said.
"I would expect to see a pretty normal trend after this initial surge, as I would think most Packers fans who are traveling to this game will want to secure tickets today or tomorrow, Leyden said. "The one thing that could impact that is how much of a Packers fan base there is within driving distance, because those could be the fans who are waiting it out to see if prices drop, which may cause more demand than expected at the end of the week."
Last-minute airfares will be more of a cost challenge for Packers fans than game tickets. Flights from Green Bay to Atlanta on Monday morning started at $816 per person, based on a Saturday-Monday trip. From Milwaukee to Atlanta, the lowest fare was $430 and from Chicago to Atlanta was $228.
One way to manage costs is to buy tickets, airfare, hotels and other services in package deals. Event USA in Ashwaubenon provides Packers game packages, including for Super Bowl LI beginning on Thursday. Fans also can bundle airfare, hotels and ground transportation at online travel sites, though those would not include game tickets or amenities such as tailgate parties.
Losses by the Houston Texas and the Cowboys had another effect. The price of Super Bowl tickets dropped $1,000 in 48 hours, Leyden said. That said, tickets still started at more than $3,100 each on Monday.
For fans daring to think beyond Atlanta, SeatGeek offers a Super Bowl Ticket Tracker, which provides average price and number of tickets sold on a daily basis.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342.