SBD/February 4, 2011/Events and Attractions

StubHub Believes Super Bowl XLV Will Be Highest Grossing Event Ever

Super Bowl XLV could become StubHub's highest-grossing event by the weekend
StubHub officials said Super Bowl XLV has risen to the second-highest grossing event in company history, trailing only last month's BCS Championship Game, and should rise to its top overall spot by sometime this weekend. After a high-degree of price volatility for the game in the secondary ticket markets over the past 12 days, the Steelers-Packers matchup has settled in as one of the strongest in recent years. StubHub's average sales price for the game as of yesterday was $3,596, 51% above the $2,386 average for last year's Saints-Colts matchup, and comparable to the $3,536 average for Super Bowl XLII three years ago between the Giants and Patriots. Ticket unit sales volume for Sunday's game on StubHub has been similar to last year's Super Bowl, but the higher pricing has created a more than 30% increase in gross sales revenue. Ticket metasearch engine FanSnap, meanwhile, last night showed 4,332 tickets available for sale with an average listing price of $4,189, 88% higher than the $2,234 seen at a comparable point last year. Secondary activity for the Super Bowl overall has shown a high degree of variance this year, however, as fans from N.Y. and Chicago last week flooded the resale markets following losses by the Bears and Jets in the conference title games, pushing available supply temporarily beyond 10,000 tickets, or roughly 10% of Cowboys Stadium capacity, and diminishing prices. But as the game has approached, both listing and sale prices have climbed steadily back up, defying typical downward trends seen for many big sporting events as gameday draws closer. Prices for Super Bowl inventory in the same row have also shown strong variance among various secondary sellers, with differences for near-identical inventory sometimes exceeding $1,000.

UNUSUAL MARKET: "This has been an incredibly unusual ticket market this year," said FanSnap CEO and co-Founder Mike Janes. "But overall, the high prices and strong activity we're seeing is a real testament to the late demand that has come in for this event, and of course, the passionate fan bases these two franchises have." Added Boston-based Ace Ticket CEO Jim Holzman, "The only predictable thing this year is that this market is anything but predictable. We started strong, went down sharply, went back up sharply and then have ebbed back very slightly in the last day or so to a still very strong level." The frigid temperatures in Dallas this week and air travel issues around much of the country are not being seen by secondary ticket sellers as drags on demand for Sunday's game. But even with historically strong fan bases for the Packers and Steelers, demand likely would have been even higher had the Jets and Bears won the conference title games. "If the Jets had made it here, particularly, we'd be talking about maybe the most expensive Super Bowl tickets ever, at least 50% higher than what we're seeing now," Holzman said.
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