Roster turnover is huge in the NFL. With 53-man rosters, and a salary cap, players switch teams every season. That means there are plenty of players that face their former team even the season after they leave. This season there are going to be several notable players ready to face their former teams after leaving in the offseason. However, ticket prices don’t always indicate much excitement about the return of these former players.
Below are the average secondary market prices for five of the most intriguing reunion games for the upcoming NFL season.
Redskins at Eagles | Avg. Price: $241.48 | Get-in Price: $87 | Eagles Season Average: $215.36 | Percent Premium: 12%
The largest price increase of any team is for the return of DeSean Jackson. Philadelphia Eagles tickets for the game are currently averaging $241.48 on the secondary market for a 12 percent increase over the Eagles’ season average of $215.36. It certainly makes sense with Jackson not only one of the most high-profile players to switch teams, but probably the youngest too. Jackson was coming off the best season of his career in his first season in Chip Kelly’s offense, but was released by the Eagles in the offseason. He went on to sign with division rival Washington. It also helps that the game is in Philadelphia, where fans will get their one chance to see their former star.
Panthers at Ravens | Avg. Price: $221.69 | Get-in Price: $76 | Ravens Season Average: $203.01 | Percent Premium: 9%
Surprisingly, though, the next largest price increase is for a game with a player who isn’t returning to his old stomping grounds. Steve Smith was released from the Carolina Panthers after playing with them his entire career. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens, who happen to play the Panthers this season. While the game is in Baltimore, the price for Baltimore Ravens tickets is actually up nine percent for the game with an average price of $221.69, while the Ravens average price for the season is $203.01. Part of that could have to do with Smith claiming there will be “blood and guts” when the Panthers come to Baltimore.
Bears at Vikings | Avg. Price: $164.24 | Get-in Price: $42 | Vikings Season Average: $154.11 | Percent Premium: 7%
Jared Allen left the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason to join the Bears, another player to jump to a division rival. Allen was one of the best players on the Vikings since the team traded with the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire him years ago. But at his advanced age, and with a new coaching staff, the Vikings decided to switch directions and let him leave in the offseason. Still, he is one of the most likable former Vikings players, and will be back in Minnesota this season. Minnesota Vikings tickets are up seven percent for Allen’s return with an average price of $164.24 over the season average of $154.11.
Buccaneers at Bears | Avg. Price: $373.54 | Get-in Price: $125 | Bears Season Average: $396.39 | Percent Premium: -6%
The Bears are also on the other side of this, having former popular personnel return to Chicago. Last season the Chicago Bears had a bit of a quarterback controversy with Josh McCown playing so well in Jay Cutler’s absence. In the offseason the Bears chose to commit to Cutler and McCown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs also hired head coach Lovie Smith after two miserable years with Greg Schiano. Smith last coached the Bears two seasons ago, and brought the team to the Super Bowl in 2006. The average price for Chicago Bears tickets for the game is actually down six percent from Chicago’s average of $396.39. Tickets are averaging $373.54 for the game, but it makes a bit of a sense when you realize how high the Bears regular season average. They have the second highest ticket price in the league this year.
Jets at Titans | Avg. Price: $127.59 | Get-in Price: $13 | Titans Season Average: $155.58 | Percent Premium: -18%
Lastly there is one game that actually has a big price drop despite the return of a former star. Chris Johnson make a big name for himself in Tennessee, including a season he eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark, but his return to Tennessee with his new team that New York Jets has an 18 percent price drop from the Titans season average. Titans tickets for the game are averaging just $127.59 while the season average for the team is $155.58. Granted Titans fans might’ve grown tired of Johnson who has never played up to his early production, and signed a pretty cheap contract with the Jets.
There are several games with former stars returning to face their favorite teams. While that should generate excitement in terms of ticket sales, there have actually been varied premiums for these games.
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