GREEN BAY - With an NFC North division championship on the line, interest in Sunday's Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions game was driving tickets prices higher.
It wasn't certain until Saturday's 38-25 victory over the Minnesota Vikings that the Packers would be playing this weekend for a division title and home playoff game next week. According to ticket reseller SeatGeek, in the past two weeks the median price increased 71 percent. The get-in price went from $70 in mid-October to $250 on Tuesday.
"Right now, this is the third-most in-demand Lions home game we have ever seen, and I am guessing with the way the prices have shot up it will end up atop that list," said SeatGeek's Chris Leyden. "The current high is the 2011 visit from the Packers, which was on Thanksgiving."
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Vivid Seats reported similar results. It said the average price for Sunday's game was $151 on Tuesday, compared to $146 for the 2013 game and $101 for last year's game.
A survey of resale companies on Tuesday found the following:
• SeatGeek's lowest price for seats was $189.
• Vivid Seats' lowest price was $177 for the upper reaches, no-alcohol section. Unrestricted seats started at $229 each.
• NFL Tickets Exchange's lowest price Tuesday was $196.
Interest on the part of Wisconsin-based Packers fans, to say nothing of those from other parts of the country, increased with the team's improving fortunes. At the beginning of the year, the Minnesota game on Christmas Eve was considered the most likely division-deciding game, but the Lions played better and, for a four-games stretch, the Packers worse than early-season expectations. Minnesota won the division in 2015.
Since the Packers began their current five-game winning streak, the importance of Sunday's game grew. Green Bay and Detroit are both 9-6. The winner takes the division title; the loser gets a wild-card berth if Washington loses at home to the New York Giants. If Washington wins, the Packers-Lions loser would be eliminated. If the Packers and Lions were to tie, the Packers would be division champs and the Lions would get a wild-card berth.
No doubt, the game is of greater interest to Lions fans as well, which also drives prices higher.
Waiting until the last minute makes the game more expensive. Not only are tickets prices rising but also airline tickets and hotels are more expensive. Saturday being New Year's Eve is a price booster as well.
Looking ahead to a possible playoff game at Lambeau Field on Jan. 7 or Jan. 8, SeatGeek's lowest tickets are $120, Vivid Seats' are $130 and NFL Tickets Exchange is not yet listing tickets.