A ticket scalper sells tickets outside of Super Bowl Village before Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Super Bowl 2013 Tickets: A Look at the Past and Present

Over $3.5 million people have attended a Super Bowl since the game’s inception on January 15, 1967.

Did you know that a ticket to the very first Super Bowl when the Kansas City Chiefs played (and lost to) the Green Bay Packers topped out at $12 per ticket? That’s also when you could buy a new car for $2,750 and go see a movie for $1.20.

Super Bowl tickets for this year’s game range between $850 and $1,250, at face value. In 2001, face value was $325 per ticket.  The average price of a ticket on the secondary market this year is $3,000. That’s a sweet looking brand new Firebird in 1967.

Game tickets are such a hot commodity and big money maker that counterfeited tickets have become a huge problem. In fact, hundreds of fans are turned away at the Super Bowl’s stadium gates every year.

The NFL even warns potential buyers about the possibility of being scammed.

To help eliminate the sale of fake tickets the NFL has incorporated several security devices built into official Super Bowl tickets. Some of the overt security devices include holograms, custom laser cutouts, thermachromic ink and a specially-made gloss varnish. A counterfeit ticket may be missing one or even several of these or other security features. The NFL also provides you with a secure, official resale marketplace to purchase your Super Bowl tickets, the NFL Ticket Exchange. Buying online from a non-NFL affiliate may be risky since there is no way of knowing if a ticket is real until game time. Even if a ticket looks real, it may be one that has been reported lost or stolen, which means the person holding it will not be granted entry into the stadium. – NFL.com

Here’s a quick breakdown of how Super Bowl tickets are issued:

  • League office – 25%
  • AFC Champions – 17.5%
  • NFC Champions – 17.5%
  • The other 29 teams – 34.8%
  • Host team – 5%

The NFL prohibits employees, coaches, and players from selling Super Bowl tickets for a profit. They can buy tickets at face value to give to family or friends, or use for themselves, but they can get into big trouble for scalping them. In fact, back in 2005 when Mike Tice was the coach for the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL fined him $100,000 for scalping tickets for a profit.

The New Orleans Police Department isn’t cracking down on NFL personnel or players selling tickets, however. They’re using their resources to snag people selling counterfeited tickets, which often come from NFL personnel, or people that work for companies who are corporate sponsors.

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl that wasn’t sold out. It was played during a much simpler time when losing thousands of dollars due to ticket fraud didn’t happen, and when $3.7 million 30-second commercials and wardrobe malfunctions didn’t exist. It was about the pigskin, valor and victory; It wasn’t a game to feed the greed.

Then again, the good old days are now.

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