The NFL’s fanbase has grown to an incredible size. In 2023, 115 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, making it the most watched TV program in U.S. history.
Thanks to this huge market, today’s Super Bowl tickets are not only harder to find, but far more expensive. In 2024, Super Bowl ticket prices are climbing as high as $54,000 on Ticketmaster – a far cry from the $12 fans coughed up in 1967. So, how has the average price fared over the years?
1960s and 1970s
The very first Super Bowl was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967. The average Super Bowl ticket price this year was $12. If adjusted for inflation, this number equals about $100 in today’s money.
Image of Super Bowl I: Jimberg13/Wikipedia Commons
The 1967 AFL-NFL World Championship Game was the only Super Bowl in history not to be sold out, but it was still a success. In the following two Super Bowls, tickets remained $12. Both games sold out.
In 1970, the decision was made to increase the ticket price to $15.
The next price hike came in 1975. Fans paid an average of $20 to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers win their first Super Bowl. By the end of the 1970s, Super Bowl ticket prices rose to $30.
1980s: Prices Rise Steadily
As the Super Bowl grew in popularity, the cost of tickets quickly increased.
Super Bowl XVIII, which was held in 1984, saw the average price of tickets climb from $40 to $60. The extra $20 was money well spent for Los Angeles Raiders fans, who watched their team trounce the Washington Redskins 38-9.
When Super Bowl XVIII was in Tampa back in 1984, a ticket to the Big Game cost only $60! Wouldn’t that be nice if that was still the case?😅 This is a replica of the 1984 ticket that can be found at the NFL Fan Experience at Julian B Lane Park. So cool 🤩🏈 @FOX13News pic.twitter.com/LZAdopyntw
— Elizabeth Fry (@elizabethfrytv) January 30, 2021
Unfortunately for all NFL fans, Super Bowl ticket prices continued to go up during the second half of the 1980s.
The price of Super Bowl tickets reached $100 for the first time in 1988 when the Washington Redskins played the Denver Broncos. This time Washington fans were rewarded for their investment as their team won Super Bowl XXII in a blowout of their own, beating the Broncos 42-10.
1990s: The Secondary Market Emerges
Up until now, we’ve only listed Super Bowl ticket prices by face value. During the 1990s, however, many people began to profit from the NFL’s popularity by reselling their tickets. This was the beginning of the Super Bowl’s now famous secondary market.
In 1991, the average face value price of a Super Bowl ticket was $150. However, there are reports of fans buying their tickets from resellers outside Tampa Stadium for many times the face value.
As the amount of reselling went up, so did the face value of the tickets. Super Bowl XXIX, held in 1995, had an average ticket price of $200. This meant ticket prices had doubled in the seven years since Super Bowl XXII.
Those who paid the historically high price of $325 to watch the final Super Bowl of the millennium, XXXIII, were treated to a historic performance from Bronco quarterback John Elway. At the age of 38 he was named the oldest Super Bowl MVP in history. A record that would stand until 2017.
One of my most prized possessions. My dad was the Broncos team chiropractor during the 1998 season and he took my mom and me to Super Bowl XXXIII.
(Check out that ticket price lmao) pic.twitter.com/OCI4e6HuGJ
— Mile High Mario (@VetanzeTherapy) September 9, 2023
2000s: New Millennium, New Prices
By 2002, the face value cost of Super Bowl tickets had risen to $400.
This was the price many New England Patriots fans paid to watch Tom Brady win his first Super Bowl; a bargain when compared to the average price of $8,000 Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans paid to watch Brady’s final Super Bowl win 19 years later.
20 years ago today: The cheapest Super Bowl ticket in modern history.
I bought a ticket for $100 (Face Value: $400) hours before Tom Brady’s Super Bowl debut.
Why? Concerns post 9/11, security and lack of hotel rooms competing with Mardi Gras.
My ticket & timeline pic.twitter.com/3heA2m6TkP
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 3, 2022
It was during the mid-2000s that the secondary market for Super Bowl tickets began to really heat up. 2006’s Super Bowl XL saw the price of secondary market tickets rise to over four times their face value.
It would be rare for any fan to secure a Super Bowl ticket on the secondary market for under $1,000 from this point on.
2010s: The Secondary Market Takes Over
The 2010s began with Super Bowl XLIV, the New Orleans Saints’ first ever championship. This Super Bowl was a huge event and the United States’ TV audience broke 100 million for the first time.
Unfortunately for those hoping to attend, this popularity came at a cost. Although the average face value of tickets was around $900-$1,000, tickets on the secondary market sold for an average of $2,329.
These numbers were nothing compared to Super Bowl XLIX, a highly anticipated match that pitted the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots. The face value cost of these tickets ranged between $500-$1,000, but the secondary market was hotter than it had ever been, with an average price of $9,723.
Seven hours before kick-off, the cheapest ticket available was priced at $11,246.50. This was for one seat in Row 10 of Upper Sideline 449. Hopefully, a Seahawks fan didn’t buy it. After all, who wants to spend $10,000 just to see their team picked off at the goal line?
Although Super Bowl ticket prices came down in the years following 2015, the overall trend of increasing prices continued. At Super Bowl LII, in 2018, some resale tickets were listed at over $20,000.
Image of fan celebrating at Super Bowl LII: Lorie Shaull/Flickr, CC BY 2.0
2020s: Super Bowl Ticket Prices At An All-Time High
In the current decade, it seems all but impossible to buy Super Bowl tickets at face value. So, fans hoping to attend the Super Bowl must be willing to pay huge sums of money on the secondary market. Super Bowl LIV saw some tickets listed above $70,000.
Casino.org graph showing average price of Super Bowl tickets since 1967
In 2021, fans had to pay an average of $8,161 to watch Tom Brady win his last Super Bowl. Although 7,500 lucky health care workers got to see the GOAT win his final championship for free.
The average cost of tickets climbed further in 2023, when a Super Bowl ticket bought on the secondary market cost an average of $9,915.
Cut to 2024, where resale tickets have been seen as high as $53,500.
Image of Super Bowl ticket prices on Ticketmaster in January 2024
Those with even more money to burn could guarantee themselves a comfortable seat by purchasing a luxury suite experience at the Allegiant Stadium. The cost for these ranges from $800,000 to $2,000,000.
Can we expect the average Super Bowl ticket price to drop, or even stay steady, anytime soon? Just consider the fact that 115 million people watched the Super Bowl in 2023, yet only 67,827 people were able to attend. We can safely assume tickets are still hot property and unlikely to consistently drop in price on the secondary market.
Couple this with the fact that the estimated total amount spent by American consumers on the Super Bowl reached $16.5 billion in 2023, and it feels like a bit of a lost cause.
For more on the Super Bowl, check out the stars who refused the Super Bowl halftime show or the best Super Bowl coaches of all time.
Lead image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Wikipedia Commons