The 2017 NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 7, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. A full lineup of games follows later that week on Sunday, which includes a few rivalry games like the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Green Bay Packers.
If you’re hoping to see any of these hyped games in person, you better start saving. Once prices for parking, food, and beverages, and of course, tickets are tallied up, the cost of attending an NFL game for two people this season runs an average of well over $200 per person s for teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, and Giants. As a matter of fact, fans can pay much more if they’re trying to splurge on premium seats.
No matter which team you root for and where you’re sitting in the stadium, there are ways to keep costs within reach. Although you may not be able to control how much your home stadium charges for beer and/or liquor, you can be in charge of employing some strategies to at least lessen the overall cost of getting inside. Here’s how to find bargains on NFL tickets this season.
Make Sure You Purchase from a Legitimate Source
It’s easy to get caught up in the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT). That being said, in order to avoid being a victim of ticket scams, buyers should make sure they are purchasing from a legitimate source — one that guarantees your money back should the ticket not work. This way, if the ticket, for some reason doesn’t work, the buyer has been compensated accordingly.
In most cases, secondary market ticket prices spike for certain games as kickoff nears simply because teams are doing much more than fans originally anticipated; or because a matchup that was overlooked all season long turned out to be the most hyped game of the week. For example, when there’s a showdown between two undefeated teams, you can expect prices to skyrocket.
Ticket agents and/or season-tickets holders who can’t make a game often times resell their tickets on websites like Stub hub, or eBay just to simply get rid of them. While tickets might be priced even lower on sites like Craigslist, consumers are always encouraged to stick to marketplaces with money-back guarantees.
Go With a Large Group
If you’re able to get together with a big enough group of alumni’s, friends, and colleagues, you might be able to negotiate a discount price with the box office. Or, they might even be able to roll in with the existing group order. Most colleges, for example, like the University of Washington work with organizations around their hometown. Meaning that if you’re a member of the alumni association, you could receive free admission to select football games.
Pick a Game That Features Less Popular Teams
When eyeing your home team’s schedule and trying to figure out when to catch a game, be mindful of who your team is playing. For instance, fans of high profile popular NFL teams are known for traveling cross-country to see their squad play on the road, and the result is that, say, San Francisco 49ers hometown Levi’s Stadium could be overrun with Seattle Seahawks fans when they’re the visiting team.
Of course, demands are higher when both locals and out-of-towners alike are fighting for tickets, which results in higher ticket prices. On the flip side, however, prices can also plummet when teams are hosting an opponent that has little to no fan base. Opponents to keep an eye out for are the Buccaneers, Browns, Rams, and Jaguars.
Factor in Additional Fees
Ticketing fees alone can easily add an additional $10 charge or more per seats. Sometimes ticket buyers can avoid these hidden fees by buying at the stadium box office in person and bypassing third-party agencies. If you have to pay for parking and gas, that could also negate your savings. However, if you live or work near the stadium, you’re in good shape since buying a ticket in person would make more sense. If you’re purchasing multiple tickets, those savings can add up quickly.
Wait Until the Last Minute to Buy Tickets
Like food with expiration dates, tickets prices tend to drop in the days leading up to the event as sellers try to get rid of them. While there may be less inventory to choose from, those tickets that do remain will most likely be at a discounted price. In the case of the Seahawks, the average ticket sold for $466 two weeks before the game, but just $250 three days before the game. That’s a drop in price of 53 percent! In some cases, if the agency just wants to get rid of tickets, they’ll offer additional discounts to military personnel, public service workers, and even college students — as long as they are able to provide their Gmail account information as proof of their current enrollment.
No matter which site you use to search for ticket buying, it’s always smart to follow these bargain tactics and compare prices from different sources before you buy.