Sports: Isn’t It Time to Give the Super Bowl Back to the Fans?

American Football

Super Bowl tickets with a face value of US$500 to US$1,000 are selling on secondary markets for more than US$9,000 – with the most expensive tickets topping US$24,000. Isn’t it time to give the Super Bowl back to the fans?

This is what I have been able to ascertain. Only 1,000 Super Bowl tickets are actually sold at face value.

The rest of the tickets are divided up among the NFL’s corporate sponsors and the various teams. And those tickets are usually “auctioned off to the highest bidder”, so to speak.

If I remember correctly, about 20,000 tickets go to each of the 2 teams playing in the Super Bowl. That works out to 40,000 tickets.

If the University of Phoenix Stadium holds 72,000 fans, that means a good 32,000 of the bums in seats belong to people that are not supporters of either team.

At least!

What I DO remember VERY clearly is that when the Oakland Raiders went to the Super Bowl in 2003, the owners of the team sold many of their share of the tickets – not to loyal seasons ticket holders (like me), but to whomever could pay the most money.

Translation: Loyal seasons tickets holders (such as me) were left to scramble to get our own tickets to the game – by hook or by crook.

King’s Ransom?

I splashed out for a package, which seemed like King’s Ransom at the time – and now seems like a pittance.

For about US$1,500, I was flown to San Diego on a chartered jet. I was put up in a hotel for 3 nights. I was taken by bus to and from the stadium. AND I GOT A TICKET to the game (mine was in the third deck)!

When I entered the stadium, there were pockets of Raiders fans here and there, and the same with Buccaneers fans.

But the football fans were  interspersed among people that wouldn’t know a first down from a hot rock. They were not football fans. They were there because it was “an event” …

Reality Check

My first “reality check” came when the kid sitting in front of me got on his mobile phone and goes, “I’m like at the SUPER BOWL!!! I mean, like, it’s AWESOME!!!”

I didn’t feel like I was at a football game. I felt like I was at a rock concert – except the music wasn’t as good (the Dixie Chicks sang the National Anthem).

I know it’s not likely, but this is what I would like to see happen.

The bulk of the tickets shouldn’t go to big shots or those with the deepest pockets. They should go to the seasons ticket holders of the 2 winning teams.

Fair is fair, and “seniority” should enter into the equation. Those that have held their seaons tickets the longest should get first dibs. And work your way down.

The luxury boxes – and the end zone – can go to the big shots (or hoi polloi). But the 50 and 40 and 30 yard line seats should go to the fans.

Divide and Conquer!

The stadium should be divided in half, with the fans of one team being alloted tickets on one side, and the fans from the other team being alloted tickets on the other – sort of the way it was done at high school football games when I was in high school.

I know there would be lots of logistal issues that would have to be worked out. This is just a “rough idea” of what I would like to see happen. But something along these lines would surely be better than the current system.

First, it would be more fair to the fans – many of whom might have waited DECADES for their moment in the sun.

Second, it would surely provide better “photo opps” for the networks. Wouldn’t crowd shots of impassioned fans be more interesting to television viewers?

Which means, THIRD, they could probably charge more for their Super Bowl commercials!

Things that go around come around …

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