In 2003 I thought it would be a good idea to put my name on the waiting lists for season tickets for several NFL teams. Not every team has a wait, and not every team that does have a wait allows you to get on the list for free (some have PSL’s while others charge $100/seat to be on the list). However, a handful of really good teams with really long waits do allow you to get on their season ticket waiting list free of charge. My theory was that whenever I did get the tickets I would be able to buy them and resell for a nice profit them because those teams are always in high demand. Of course, I also could just decline the option to buy without any penalty. Or I could actually go to the games, depending on the location of the team. Win-win-win I thought.
I hadn’t thought much about this since then. Until of course last week when I was at my parents house and I saw that there was a letter there for me from the Denver Broncos. Apparently I am now eligible to buy season tickets. 4 of them in fact. But I had to decide by June 16th, a little over a week after I got the letter. Which makes sense because I’m sure a lot of people decline to buy or have forgotten about it or moved, so they need time to send more letters to other people on the list prior to tickets being sent out in July.
The letter also said something really interesting – that the wait had now grown to 15 – 20 years and that if I didn’t buy tickets by June 16th I’d be placed at the back of the line again.
After debating it for a little while, I ran it by my partners who emphatically pushed me to buy the tickets. I ended up deciding to buy a pair and Mike decided he’d snatch up the other pair. So here’s the deal – all season long I’m going to track exactly what we do with these tickets. I’ll post when we sell each pair, how much we sell them for, and how much work is involved.
We had choices between two different sections, one for $580/seat and the other for $420/seat. We decided to experiment and get a pair from each. We ended up with 2 seats in section 524 and 2 in section 502 (map here). The grand total – including an $8 service charge per ticket – came to $2,032. The very nice lady on the phone informed me that I’ll be receiving the tickets in the mail in July. At that time we’ll decide exactly how we’ll be selling the tickets.
However, if you do the math it looks like we’re already in pretty good shape if we threw them on StubHub. We’re paying $52.50/ticket and $72.50/ticket if you don’t factor in the two pre-season games that we might not be able to unload. Some games are already over $100 for the low…in June. Season ticket packages start at $675, which means we could sell off the entire season right now and still make out pretty good.
It also helps that the Broncos have the schedule from God. They have quite possibly the four best road teams coming in – Dallas, New England, Pittsburgh, and the Giants. Then they have their three division rivals coming in – San Diego, Oakland, and Kansas City. The only not-so-popular team is Cleveland, and that is their home opener, which always has high demand. The two pre-season games that we get are essentially meaningless (Chicago and Arizona) – we’ll be lucky to get $20/ticket for those games.
The only thing working against us is that the Broncos might totally suck, considering that Josh McDaniels is insane and all. Hopefully they’ll at least be respectable…or at least respectable until we unload all of our tickets.
All in all, if this can’t work with this team in this season, it probably won’t be worth my time to try it again with another team in another season. Our goal is to get a 50% return on our investment by the time the season ends in December. That’s approximately six months to turn $2k into $3k. Should be fun.
Update: you can read about the results of our experiment in my other NFL Season Ticket Experiment posts