With the 2013 NFL pre-season underway, it’s a level playing field and everyone has a shot at hoisting the Lombardi trophy in January. Of course, pundits, both professional and amateur, have lots of opinions about who will be vying for playoff spots and draft picks. Amidst all the “expert” opinions, however, the best predictor of success may be the change in ticket prices from last year to this year. Here we’ve compiled a list of the top four gainers based on this year’s price change.
#4 Indianapolis Colts: +48.92%: From 2-14 to 11-5, the 2012 Colts were the definition of a turnaround season. In his first season under center, Andrew Luck made the memory of Peyton Manning feel more distant than a year. Despite losing in the Wild Card round to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Ravens, Colts fans have a renewed sense of optimism in 2013 and aspirations for a playoff win. The marquee game of 2013 at Lucas Oil Field features the return of Peyton on Sunday Night Football. At an average price of $472, the cheapest Indianapolis Colts tickets to see Manning’s return cost $192, which is $150 more than the get-in price for any other Colts home game this season.
#3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +53.14%: Despite a 7-9 record in 2012, the Buccaneers set a franchise record with 5,820 yards of total offense and 389 total points scored. The defense also ranked #1 in the league against the rush. With the offseason addition to Darrelle Revis, their pass defense should be much improved and give the Bucs a shot at their first playoff berth since 2007. At an average price of $218, the most expensive Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets at Raymond James Stadium are for the November 17th matchup against the Falcons. This is the first Bucs game in three years with an average price over $200. The increased demand for tickets may also mean that more than two of their home games are available on local television, after six blackouts last year.
#2 Seattle Seahawks: +54.08%: The 2012 Seahawks came within two points of the NFC Championship, and went undefeated at home for the third time in franchise history. It’s no surprise then that their fan base, known as the 12th man, has driven up prices significantly for the 2013 season. By winning the Seahawks first road playoff game in 30 years, quarterback Russell Wilson proved that he was a gamer. Along with “The Beast”, Marshawn Lynch, Seattle fans clearly are looking to get to the NFC Championship, at least. The most expensive Seattle Seahawks tickets are for the September 15th visit from NFC-champion, San Francisco 49ers. At an average price of $548, the game is almost $300 higher than the next most expensive game at Century Link Field.
#1 San Francisco 49ers: +67.29%: Under first-year Coach Jim Harbaugh, the 2011 49ers made it to the NFC championship, only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants. A year later, they came within seven yards of winning their first Super Bowl since 1994. In 2013-14, there is only one more step to take, and based on the increase in the average price for San Francisco 49ers tickets, it’s clear that fans have high expectations. With the addition of Super Bowl champ Anquan Boldin at wide receiver and elite cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the 49ers not only lead the league in the highest price increase, but they’re also the odds-maker favorites to win the Super Bowl, at 6-1.
For full coverage of NFL ticket prices all season, visit the TiqIQ Blog.