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Hot commodity

Rise in ticket demand indicates fans poised for super-charged season. Jesse Lawrence

Print This July 15, 2014, 07:00 AM EST

The French prophet Nostradamus had a penchant for predicting catastrophic events, famously warning that December of 2012 would mark the destruction of the world. Although the world did not come crashing down, it came fairly close for Chargers fans. It cannot be said that there was no omen. It was certainly eerie when first-rounder Ryan Mathews broke his right clavicle on the first snap of the first preseason game. The rest of the season was not much better. Philip Rivers put up his lowest yard total since 2007 en route to a 7-9 finish. It was the Chargers' third consecutive season failing to make the playoffs, and first losing season since 2003. Fortunately, the winds of change began to blow in San Diego.

Enter Mike McCoy, the Bolts' replacement for Norv Turner. McCoy and the Chargers did not exactly come roaring back in 2013, although offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt did help Mathews and Rivers regain their form. By Week 14, the Bolts sat at 5-7, well behind the Broncos and Chiefs. Then, something amazing happened. The Chargers won four consecutive games, including improbable victories against the Broncos and Chiefs, and clinched a wild-card playoff berth. The Lightning Bolts went on to upset the Bengals in Cincinnati before falling to the Super Bowl runner-up Broncos.

Although it remains to be seen whether the Chargers can be considered Super Bowl contenders, one thing is for certain. Mike McCoy has Bolts fans believing. The optimism is real, and can be seen in the demand for Chargers tickets ahead of the 2014 season.

The most expensive game this season will come when the Chargers face the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in Week 14. The Patriots went 12-4 last season en route to their third consecutive AFC Championship Game. According to Barrys Tickets, the average list price on the secondary market for the game is $297.58, and the get-in list price on the secondary market is $90.00.

The second-most expensive game will come when the division-rival Broncos come to town in Week 15. The average list price on the secondary market is $268.26. Last season, the most expensive game came when the Broncos visited in Week 10. The average list price on the secondary market for that game was $256.02. The 4.8 percent markup from last season indicates that the fans believe in the Chargers, and are willing to open up the checkbook to prove it.

It should come as no surprise that the least expensive game will come when the Chargers face the lowly Jaguars in Week 4. The Jaguars are coming off a 4-12 season in which they failed to win a game until Week 9. The average list price on the secondary market is a meager $144.19, and the get-in list price on the secondary market is $34.00. Last season, the least expensive game came against the Bengals in Week 13 when pessimistic fans thought the playoffs were out of reach. The average list price on the secondary market for that game was $109.62.

The second-least expensive game this season will come against the Rams in Week 12. St. Louis went 7-9 last season, but still have not reached the playoffs since 2004. The average list price on the secondary market is $173.30, and the get-in list price on the secondary market is $40.00.

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