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Statistically, When Is The Best Time To Buy Super Bowl Tickets?

Just a few days ago, you'd have had a better chance of finding a reasonably priced one-bedroom in Manhattan than you would've of scoring Super Bowl tickets for less than a mortgage payment or ten. For those who were able to hold off a few days, though, the savings are likely in the thousands.

The Super Bowl is Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., about 10 miles outside New York City, and tickets have seen a Big Apple markup—sometimes double what they were a year ago when the game was in New Orleans. The most expensive suite currently listed is at $686,000+ with the cheapest available around $238,000.


If you're just a fan of the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks riding high off last weekend's victories, or if you love football and thought, hell, why not make a weekend of it, last Wednesday it would've cost you $1,985 just to get in and sit in the worst seat in the house, according to ticket resale hub TiqIQ. Today, however, that low price is down to $1364. That reflects what's going on overall. The average price of a ticket on the secondary market was $4,084.37 five days ago. (All data reflects listed prices, not sale prices, which should help explain some of the fluctuations over a short period of time.) Today, overall, it's $2448, a more than 40 percent drop.

Part of this could come down to the quality of the seats remaining, but the effect is unlike that of, say, booking a flight, where the closer you are to your departure the higher the cost of any ticket. Ticket prices across the top 25 percent, bottom 25 percent, and middle 50 percent have all been dropping independently of each other, with the lowest 25 percent of tickets actually dropping in percentage of listed price a little more. Furthermore, the resale market reveals a record number of tickets still available for purchase, with more than 10,500 tickets for sale with six days to go until the game—up 43 percent from 7,300 on the 22nd. This excess of supply will likely result in a relative decrease in a further decline in ticket prices over the next few days.

To get prices that need deflating, first, prices had to balloon. That $4,084.37 figure for the morning of Jan. 21 was up more than 18% from two weeks before. But a look at the daily fluctuations in ticket prices over the past few years reveals that prices rise as the playoffs go on, spiking in the day or two following the conference championship games—and then steadily decrease as the big game approaches.


The following table and graph, covering the last four years, show the downward trend in ticket prices from the date of the conference championship games (two weeks prior to the Super Bowl) to the day of the Super Bowl:

Avg. Price 2 Weeks before Super Bowl$3,509.42$4,062.06$3,646.04$3,082.51
Avg. Price 1 Week before Super Bowl$2,866.43$3,350.42$4,039.90$2,993.28
Avg. Price on Game Day$2,329.26$3,649.41$2,955.56$2,199.08
Avg. Percentage Decrease33.63%10.16%18.94%28.66%

This historical ticket data shows that in each of the last four years, average prices decreased significantly between the two weeks prior to the Super Bowl and game day. The Dallas Super Bowl in 2011 notwithstanding, three of the past four Super Bowls have held to similar form, with a steady decline throughout the week, a dead cat bounce the day before, and a final plummet as game time approaches.


So, the best time to buy Super Bowl tickets actually seems to be right around now. You should see a bit more drop off as game time approaches, but by overall price, the average —even with the New York City backdrop factored in—is lower than the average price six days out in any of the past four years.

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A version of this post originally appeared on NerdWallet, adapted and updated for Deadspin by the author.


Sreekar Jasthi is an Analyst for NerdWallet, a site dedicated to answering all of your financial questions with data-driven analysis. You can follow him on Twitter @sreekonomics.

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