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Not Very Patriotic: Tour Operator Hiking Up Tix Prices
Published February 1, 2005
The Patriots are selling a portion of their Super Bowl ticket allotment to California-based PrimeSport Int’l, which is “effectively charging four times face value for tickets included in trip packages,” according to Bruce Mohl of the BOSTON GLOBE. PrimeSport, which pays an annual fee to be the official travel partner of the team, is charging $1,099 for “same-day air packages to the game for people who already have their ticket.” But the same package with an upper-level end zone ticket included is $3,299. In effect, “a ticket with a face value of $500 was marked up to $2,200.” Mohl writes the team’s arrangement with PrimeSport is “not unusual in professional sports and is condoned” by the NFL. The Patriots received about 11,550 Super Bowl tickets, but 5,000 went to club and suite-ticket holders; others went to team players, coaches and employees, as well as sponsors; and season-ticket holders “have speculated that only about 1,000 to 2,000 were sold to them through a lottery.” Patriots season-ticket holder Steve George said, “They’re funneling the tickets away from the people who pay the freight all year long.” Mohl adds PrimeSport’s markups “appear to conflict with the team’s strict policy against the resale of tickets above face value,” which has “cost a number of season ticket holders their tickets.” But Patriots Exec Dir of Media Relations Stacey James said that the arrangement “does not violate the team’s policy because PrimeSport is selling its tickets as part of a package and not individually.” Mohl adds that PrimeSport, also an Eagles partner, is charging Eagles fans $4,749 for a three-night package including a ticket, $300 more than for Patriots fans, and a one-day package costs $1,300 more for Eagles fans than for Patriots fans (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).
BUYER BEWARE: Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation “has issued a consumer warning” that some Super Bowl travel packages do not include a game ticket (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/1).