NFL ticket resale trends: Las Vegas Raiders are smoking hot, while Patriots are deflating fast

Charles Robinson
·NFL columnist
·4-min read

If it wasn’t bad enough that Tom Brady left and convinced Rob Gronkowski to go with him, the iconic Patriots quarterback has taken the air out of the secondary ticket market in New England, too.

That’s what the initial data suggests from national ticket brokering search engine, which is showcasing some of what we expected in the first wave of NFL ticket-selling trends in 2020. Chief among the revelations is that Las Vegas is the place to be for an NFL game next season. We’ll get to that in a moment, but not before noting that Brady’s move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is already sticking out like a sore thumb where it concerns demand.

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01: General view of the end zone pirate ship as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers 17-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Tom Brady has helped elevate the price of seats at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Not only has Brady created a void of buyers in New England’s reselling market, he has spurred a deep well of demand for tickets in Tampa Bay. That’s not to say the Patriots have been a complete bust — New England is 12th in the NFL in average ticket resale prices in the early going, with seats running an average of $433 per game. But with the Patriots yet to have their primary ticket release, that 12th overall slot is being artificially supported by a lack of inventory available on the secondary market. When the team releases more tickets to the public, New England’s slot could slump considerably.

As it stands, New England’s $433 average price tag per secondary market ticket is a whopping 39 percent below last season’s average. That’s nearly double the next worst performer in the Chicago Bears, who have dropped off 22 percent below last season’s average ticket.

And the flip side: The Buccaneers are the recipient of Brady’s wind in their sails (and sales), with a 135 percent jump in average prices over last year. The Buccaneers now have the sixth priciest average ticket on the secondary market, at $485 per seat.

Among the other revelations ...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 23:  Crews test out architectural light ribbons and exterior sign lighting as construction continues at Allegiant Stadium, the USD 2 billion, glass-domed future home of the Las Vegas Raiders on April 23, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders and the UNLV Rebels football teams are scheduled to begin play at the 65,000-seat facility in their 2020 seasons.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
In April, crews test out architectural light ribbons and exterior sign lighting as construction continues at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Demand is high for NFL tickets

TicketiQ founder Jesse Lawrence said there are signs of “pent up” demand for NFL games, with the league-wide average of tickets going for $391 per seat, compared to $258 last season. That could be pulled down once all NFL teams release their primary bundle of tickets to fans. Thus far, 10 franchises have yet to have their wide release.

Vegas Raiders, Broncos hottest teams in secondary ticket market

Only one franchise has entirely sold out its home games already: The Raiders.

They’ll open Allegiant Stadium as the hottest seat in the NFL when it comes to secondary tickets. Data from ticketiQ lists Las Vegas as already boasting an astronomical $1,098 price tag for the average ticket in the secondary market. That’s a 528 percent increase over last season’s average for the Raiders, who more than triple the next nearest team in terms of a jump in demand.

The New York Jets came in second with an increased demand of 153 percent.

As the NFL expected for 2020, Las Vegas will be the prime destination game for many opposing fans. Now, they'll just have to dig deep for the experience.

The second-hottest team in the NFL: the Denver Broncos, thanks to a lengthy waiting list for season tickets that is more than 80,000 strong. Given that list and the wave of newfound optimism over quarterback Drew Lock in 2020, Denver is checking in at an average of $774 per ticket.

Lions, Bills cheapest to get on market

As for the opposite end of the spectrum, the lowest demand in the league is partially what you’d expect — the Detroit Lions had the cheapest average secondary market price of $142 — but also surprising in who ranks 31st. That second-to-last slot is held by the Buffalo Bills, who should not only be in playoff contention in 2020, but might be a popular pick to win the AFC East following Brady’s departure from New England.

The fact remains that the weather and cult-like devotion of the Bills Mafia fan base definitely impacts prices. Not a whole lot of out-of-towners are looking to go into Buffalo to watch a game, leading to an average secondary price of $179.

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