NFL Keeps Grip on Super Bowl Tickets, Except for Owners
Friday, March 13, 2015
USA Today (01/30/15) Schrotenboer, Brent
The official position of the National Football League was that 75 percent of this year's approximately 71,000 Super Bowl tickets were given to its 32 clubs while the league held the remaining quarter, but unofficially team owners and other NFL insiders could package those tickets at inflated prices. TiqIQ reports the average price list price was $10,919 as of Jan. 29, while fans are offered the chance to win a lottery to purchase tickets for $500, with scalping strictly prohibited by the league. This marks a dramatic reversal of the NFL's stance on reselling Super Bowl tickets, which in past years was viewed as unethical, illegal in some cases, and damaging to the league. The change in attitude was driven by the Internet economy and the legal allowance of reselling, and by 2008 the NFL had struck a deal with Ticketmaster to establish the NFL Ticket Exchange, the league's official ticket reseller. Ticketmaster and the NFL split the resale revenue and use sales data to maximize pricing in the future. Team owners and their clubs are permitted to sell tickets at higher than face value, provided they include the marked-up tickets to travel companies and ticket vendors packaged as part of a sponsorship agreement. "For secondary ticket vendors with sponsorship arrangements with clubs, the deal value can exceed the face value of the included tickets, provided that such excess value must be reasonably attributable to the elements of value [excluding tickets] included in the deal," says NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy.
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