Conference championship tickets peaking in price in 2023

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:10 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:29 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The resale market is hot for this weekend’s conference championship games. The average secondary market list price for Sunday’s game in Kansas City is the highest of any AFC Championship game.

According to re-sale site TicketIQ, you can get in right now for less than $400. But what you might call the best seats are priced as high as $8,000.

Chiefs fans are getting spoiled with an AFC Championship game at home for five years straight. You could say the same for ticket brokers like Tickets For Less, which is based in Overland Park.

“It’s very cool to be able to have this five years in a row,” said Jason Durbin, the vice president of ticket operations for Tickets For Less.

The best-known re-sale sites are primarily platforms that provide an avenue for connecting buyers and sellers. When the event is local, Tickets For Less typically buys the tickets, then sells them as the ticket owner. Over the years, they have established relationships with season ticket holders.

“You’ve got less than a week to basically sell out a stadium which is, you know, a lot of tickets to move in one week,” he described.

He said he’s never seen a Chiefs playoff game not sell out.

TicketIQ calculated the average list price for conference championship games over the years. They excluded 2021 because COVID meant reduced capacity. The average for the 2023 AFC game (Bengals at Chiefs) is the highest ever.

The average for 2019 versus New England was $271. The average for the 2020 game against Tennessee was $415.

The average is $1,218 this year, up 18% from 2022, when the contenders and location were the same. That time, the Bengals defeated the Chiefs in overtime. Durbin speculated on what makes this year such a big draw.

“You have the all the storylines going into it,” he considered. “A rematch of last year. It’s the two big young quarterbacks of Burrow and Mahomes. And then you’ve got two really passionate fan bases.”

He said starting prices are about the same as last year for the Chiefs, but more top tier tickets entering the re-sale market are pushing the average a bit higher.

Still, re-sale tix for the 2023 Chiefs-Bengals rematch in Kansas City aren’t nearly what they are for this year’s battle between the Eagles and 49ers for the NFC Championship.

TicketIQ calculations for the top five most expensive conference championship games, based on secondary market average list price, puts the 2023 NFC Championship game in Philadelphia at number one of all time: $2,468. The 2023 AFC Championship places at fourth most expensive of all time.

Durbin posited that was partly a factor of geography and demographics. People in Philadelphia and especially San Francisco are accustomed to paying more for everything than people in Midwest areas like Kansas City and Cincinnati. But there’s also the fact that Philadelphia fans have had to wait five years to get this far.

“The pent-up demand is going to be a big factor,” Durbin said.

If you decide to get in on the game, be sure to shop around, and check if fees are included in what you see on the screen.

“At the end, it might have a lot more fees at the checkout,” Durbin warned. “When you’re dealing with a high dollar ticket like this, a ten percent, 15 percent, 20 percent fee can really tack on quite a bit.”

He also advised to be wary of private sellers or unknown resale sites. All tickets are mobile. Paper tickets are a sure sign of a scam. Wherever you buy, be sure to use a payment method like a credit card that allows refunds if there are problems.