Blame the Super Bowl ticket debacle on FOX Business

FOX Business was rightly panned a few weeks ago for airing a report that Super Bowl attendance was expected to decrease this year, and that ticket prices were falling as a result. FOX blamed the lack of interest on the slate of playoff teams (at the time: New England, Indianapolis, Seattle, Green Bay) as well as on people choosing to attend Super Bowl parties instead of the actual Super Bowl.

I don’t need to rehearse all the reasons the segment’s two reporters (as well as its writers, producers, etc.) should be fed to ISIS, but in brief: Super Bowl attendance is purely a function of stadium size, and a smaller stadium likely indicates that ticket prices are expected to be higher, not that fewer people are interested in attending. (Not accidentally, the two teams that made the Super Bowl also happen to boast the highest average ticket prices in the NFL this season.)

I felt obligated to dredge up this story after hearing reports that numerous fans who purchased tickets through brokers traveled down to Arizona only to discover those ticket brokers had been unable to actually secure them entrance. Here’s the Seattle Times:

Brian Hartline of Bellevue finally gave up Saturday trying to salvage a Super Bowl dream that became a nightmare.

Hartline, 39, and a buddy had purchased a pair of tickets to Sunday’s big game between the Seahawks and New England Patriots for $1,750 apiece from a private broker on eBay. But things headed south when Hartline, an assistant football coach at Issaquah High School and a program manager for a computer-software company, flew here Wednesday to pick up what he’d paid for.

The broker, claiming an unprecedented shortage in the secondary Super Bowl market, kept stalling before finally admitting Friday he had no tickets. Hartline and his friend looked into buying new tickets Saturday, but gave up after seeing them priced at $10,000 and higher online.

Hey ticket brokers: You had one job.

Seriously, though. Ticket brokers do this for a living. Every game. Every year. Every Super Bowl. They should have the model down by now: know how many tickets you sold and figure out some way to acquire those tickets. They should never be surprised when tickets are harder than expected to come by. They should never have to refund money because they couldn’t get their hands on enough of them. They should never fail quite this hard for the Super Bowl: That’s the Broncos’ job.

Even FOX News changed its tune, reporting on Friday that “attending the Super Bowl will cost fans a pretty penny.  The current average price for Super Bowl tickets is $9,484.37, with a get-in price of $7,087, according to TiqIQ.  Seats in the 200’s level are averaging $7,251 and seats in the 100’s level are selling for an average of $6,206.” Astonishingly, that article betrays absolutely no indication that reality so flatly contradicts what the network previously reported, but I’m not surprised: that’s par for the course over at FOX — an especially appropriate idiom in connection with an event that will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

So how in the world did so many brokers get caught short? I can think of only one plausible explanation: they watch FOX, and sold their tickets with a genuine belief that tickets would be cheap this year. Which is dumb, because never watch FOX News.

Feed these guys to ISIS, too.


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