SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – With the Seattle Seahawks limiting public release of National Football Conference championship game tickets to buyers in the Pacific Northwest, Bay Area 49er fans are being forced to buy their tickets secondhand – at a significant markup.
The NFC West foes will face off for the 3rd time this season Sunday, with the winner taking the season series and earning a trip to the Super Bowl. In recent years the rivalry has grown to perhaps the NFL’s best, and tickets to witness the highly anticipated showdown are at a premium on the secondary market.
“The cheapest ticket sold is about $330 … the most expensive is $3,500 for a club seat,” says Glen Lehrman of StubHub. “The average ticket price is about $685…more than double the average in Carolina.”
As of Monday morning, the cheapest pair of seats offered was $460 each, or roughly a thousand after fees. Regular Seattle season ticketholders say the inventory is low and that’s what’s pushing up prices.
“I was looking before the 49er game was over, and they sold about 2,000 seats as soon as the 49er game ended,” said Davis, California resident Kevin Wan – who has split tickets with family living in Seattle since 2004. “As long as I’ve been a season ticketholder, I’ve never seen the tickets this high.”
Wan said tickets in his section, with a face value of $145, were selling for well over $500 apiece Sunday night.
However, some ‘Hawks fans may have formed an unrealistic opinion of how much it’s worth to witness the rivalry: several seats were priced at over $5,000 each. Here’s hoping the single end zone seat offered at more than $122,000 was simply a typo.
Still, Wan says the high price tag likely won’t induce many Seahawks fans to sell. The team’s supporters are known to take great pride in the ’12th Man’ advantage they provide for the home team.
“When we saw the ticket prices for our section, we had to have a conversation about it, but obviously these don’t come very often up here…that experience outweighed the money. We aren’t ticket brokers, we’re fans,” said Wan.
According to Lerhman, that hasn’t deterred loyal 49er fans from trying to change the makeup of the crowd this weekend.
“More people are buying tickets from California than from Washington,” said Lehrman. “The notion of a full stadium filled with only Seahawks fans isn’t going to come to fruition.”
No matter which team you are rooting for, bring your earplugs. Seahawks fans set the Guinness World Record for crowd noise at 137.6 decibels earlier this year. It’s a safe bet they’ll try to shatter that mark Sunday.