As Super Bowl tickets climb into historical territory, data is pointing to the 49ers as the 'home' crowd

Charles Robinson
NFL columnist

MIAMI — The high prices attached to Super Bowl LIV tickets hasn’t waned. Now the data is beginning to show why.

San Francisco 49ers fans have swamped the market since the NFC title game.

Secondary market titan StubHub collected some staggering data in the first week after the NFL’s championship weekend: As of Monday, Super Bowl ticket sales in California had spiked 206 percent, suggesting a strong swath of buying by 49ers fans. To put that into perspective, that sales acceleration was “3.6 times faster” than the sales spike in Missouri.

Aggregate sales appear to back up that rush of fans, too, with 22 percent of Super Bowl ticket sales coming in California, while Missouri and Kansas (largely representing Kansas City Chiefs fans) has ticked off at 15 percent of the market.

It looks like 49ers fans plan on making the trip to Miami and taking over Hard Rock Stadium for Super Bowl LIV. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

“Since the 49ers won [in the NFC title game], sales out of California have increased by over 200 percent, with Fullerton and San Francisco leading the way,” said StubHub sports general manager Akshay Khanna. “Missouri sales — specifically out of Kansas City and Holts Summit — have increased 57 percent.’’

Another wrinkle that could play out in favor of the 49ers: Mexico has eaten up 4 percent of total sales, driven by a California-based team. Other secondary brokers such as TicketIQ have presented splits that have been more even geographically between the fan bases, but historically, StubHub’s sales data has been a strong indicator of “over the top” fan demand. The team with the most “over the top demand” has been a fairly accurate indicator of which fan base will represent the “home” team.

With four more strong days of selling left, that means the Super Bowl LIV crowd appears to be leaning toward 49ers dominance. For now, anyway.

Time will tell if that changes, but at least one thing won’t: ticket prices may not see a drop-off until the very last moments before the game — if at all. StubHub’s sales were already accelerating as the week opened, with a 6 percent jump spanning Sunday and Monday. And according to TicketIQ, the “get-in” prices (representing the cheapest tickets on the secondary market) crept over $5,000 on Monday. That price has dipped just below that line as of Tuesday across most brokers, but the breach of that $5,000 line on the Monday before the Super Bowl is an eyebrow-raiser. TicketIQ’s data suggests that’s the first time in the past 10 years that Monday “get-in” prices ascended to that level. The overall average price of a Super Bowl ticket, taking into account all sections in the stadium, also has hovered near $8,000, which is also as high as that price has ever been over the past 10 years on a Super Bowl Monday.

Part of the financial push has been secondary brokers carefully monitoring the flow of their inventory onto the secondary market — which has helped to keep the demand and pricing high. But there has also been a thinning of upper bowl seats, which are usually the cheapest and quickest to move on the market. The lack of availability in those seats will only increase as the game gets closer. In turn, that is expected to keep the “get in” pricing high, if not steadily increasing as the game gets closer.

“For fans looking to just get into the game, now is the time to buy,” said TicketIQ founder Jesse Lawrence. “With less than 1,000 tickets left in the upper level and many thousands of fans looking to buy, it’s not likely that prices for the cheapest tickets will get anywhere close to cheap. While some more inventory is likely to come to market on Wednesday when players get their [ticket] allotment, given the tight supply and high demand, we don't expect it to have much of an impact on [lowering] the 'get-in' price.”

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