For the first time, fans who want to guarantee themselves a ticket to the Super Bowl if their team makes it can do so ahead of time.
NFL On Location, which is partly owned by the NFL owners’ venture fund, is offering fans of the eight remaining teams the opportunity to reserve seats to the game contingent on their team making it.
In order to participate in the offer, fans have to declare their team and put down a $1,000 per ticket package deposit as well as a credit card. If their team wins the AFC or NFC on Jan. 22, the card is automatically charged with the entire amount. If their team does not make it to Super Bowl LI, the deposit made is completely refunded.
“We have these fans now who might be buying tickets just in case their team wins and if not they have to start to think about selling it,” NFL On Location CEO John Collins said. “We’ve created a no-risk situation.”
NFL On Location has roughly 9,500 tickets allocated to them with a little more than 3,000 tickets that had to be held back, per the NFL’s stipulation, for fans of teams in the game.
The company is selling four packages. The cheapest comes with an upper level ticket and a lower-end tailgate party and starts at $5,949. The top package starts at $12,749, includes a prime lower bowl ticket, a top shelf tailgate party and access to the field for postgame. Hotels and access to the parties at Club Nomadic, which will include performances by the Chainsmokers, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift, are sold separately.
NFL On Location’s new business came out of the league’s desire to better control the sale of tickets following ticket brokers shorting the market for the Super Bowl in Phoenix two years ago. Brokers sold tickets they didn’t yet have with the idea of buying the ticket closer to the game to make money on the sale. But when the inventory wasn’t there and brokers had to lose money, many busted commitments and fans left without the tickets they thought they bought.
Buying from NFL On Location does come at a premium to what one can find on the current market, but it also comes with security. A fan buying from the company gets a specific seat, instead of a zone, and tickets are in hand roughly a week before the game. The tailgates and the parties are also run by companies owned by NFL On Location.
There is some urgency in the ticket marketplace as the Dallas Cowboys making the game will result in sky-high prices, especially given the game’s location in Houston. There could also be a higher than normal local fan base wanting to attend the game given the big money that is typically spent from the wealthiest fans in the state.