January 07, 2016 - Jesse Lawrence
Hedge My Ticket Could Change the Way Super Bowl Tickets Are Purchased
There will be four NFL games this weekend as we enter the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. Many believe this weekend, as well as the Divisional Round of the playoffs, are some of the best sports weekends of the year, and ticket prices are certainly indicative of that thought. Each game this weekend is at least 25-30% more expensive than the regular season average price for each team and we can only expect those numbers to rise as the playoffs continue. Currently, the most expensive game will take place Sunday afternoon when the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers. The average ticket price on the secondary market according to TiqIQ.com is $386 with the cheapest ticket available at $156. The Texans vs. Chiefs matchup has the second highest average price at $294, followed by Bengals vs. Steelers at $207 and Vikings vs. Seahawks at $132. And those prices will only escalate as we get closer and closer to the completion of the NFL playoffs. The Super Bowl will be the most expensive game of the year if the past is any indication with last year’s average price above $4,500 after the two conference champions were decided, peaking at $11,000 the weekend before the game. With so much uncertainty regarding who will be in the Super Bowl and how much tickets will cost once the participants are determined, it’s become increasingly more difficult for fans to purchase tickets. However, a new company called Hedge My Ticket is looking to provide a service that will enable fans the opportunity to purchase Super Bowl tickets weeks, even months, in advance, without knowing who will be in the game. Hedge My Ticket allows fans to purchase Super Bowl tickets right now and will receive a full refund if the fan’s team does not make the Super Bowl. How it works is you select the team that you would like to see play in the Super Bowl, and choose the category seating (upper or lower level) as well as the number of seats (1 or 2). Hedge My Ticket provides a range of prices for those tickets and you commit to purchase the ticket at that price range. Once that has taken place, Hedge My Ticket reviews their purchase orders for the remaining teams that can still make the Super Bowl and searches for a ticket purchase “match”. Once a match has been made, Hedge My Ticket utilizes their partnerships with StubHub and the official NFL Ticket Exchange to purchase tickets that are fully guaranteed, so there is zero percent chance of the ticket order not being fulfilled. After the match has taken place, you would pay a 50% deposit and a non-refundable hedging fee. Then, all you need to do is wait and see if your team makes the big game. If so, you’ll pay the remaining 50% and you have a Super Bowl ticket. If your team loses, you’ll receive the deposit back. For the first time, fans will be able to purchase market-rate Super Bowl tickets well before the two teams are decided. In addition, it protects fans from the market completely rising, such as last year. The get-in price escalated last year from $2,500 in the weeks leading up to the game, all the way up to $10,000 the day of the game. Fans can lock in a price now, before the market get extremely volatile. This is an especially interesting service for teams that have fan bases that historically travel very well. For example, the New England Patriots (9-2 odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Denver Broncos (5-1 odds), Seattle Seahawks (5-1 odds), and the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-1 odds) have four of the best odds to win the Super Bowl this year. The Seahawks and Steelers will have to win three games to get to the Super Bowl, as opposed to the Broncos and Patriots needing to win just two, but the odds makers clearly think both teams are talented enough to get there. Though they have one of the longest odds at 40-1 to get to the Super Bowl, the Washington Redskins would be a very interesting hedge as well. Washington has not been to the Super Bowl since 1991 so if they do find a way to make it, there will be many, many fans looking to descend upon Santa Clara to see them play. Overall, the Super Bowl ticket market has been one of the murkier markets for fans to navigate. With extreme volatility in prices, as well as the fact that the participants are not known until fourteen days beforehand, it’s been a very difficult process for die-hard fans. Hedge My Ticket may just be able to make buying Super Bowl tickets as easy for fans as if it were any other game.