Patrick Mahomes (Top R) of Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball during the NFL Super Bowl LIV football game between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, the United States, on Feb. 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Qin Lang)
The NFL said on the weekend that 22,000 fans will be in the stands to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Feb 7－a little more than one-third capacity of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The Bucs will be the first team to compete for the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
A total of 7,500 free tickets are being distributed to vaccinated healthcare workers from hospitals in central Florida and other healthcare personnel selected by the 32 NFL clubs. The remaining 14,500 seats will be made available to well-heeled fans.
According to secondary ticket marketplace TickPick, Super Bowl LV is heading for a record, with the highest average sale price ($9,439 as of Friday) in the broker’s history. Another online marketplace, TicketIQ, pegged the lowest general admission at $8,600.
TicketIQ data also calculated online ticket availability at just over 1,500 on Friday, while a brokering source revealed players and coaches will each be given two complementary tickets, along with the right to purchase four more at prices topping out at $3,650 per seat.
The total allotment for the two teams could top just over 1,000 tickets, which would leave around 13,500 to be divided between sponsors, fan offerings and those the NFL holds back for other franchises and officials. As game day draws closer, ticket brokers expect the inventory to get even tighter.
“If the dip over the last few days rides out a little longer, I think there will be a point where there just won’t be any more ‘in-flow’ from the usual places,” one broker told Yahoo! Sports.
“At some point, that inventory is going to hit a wall and just be what it is. There won’t be the normal avenues to go out and try to piece together more ticket blocks.”
Chiefs sideline tickets had a Tick-Pick listing of a whopping $63,093 for each of two seats on Friday, while Buccaneers sideline tickets were listed for $51,622 per ticket for two seats.
The league’s top priority, however, is the healthcare workers.
“These dedicated workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week.
“We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
Allowing limited attendance for the championship game has been the NFL’s stated plan since the pandemic hit. The league said it has held discussions with public health officials, and that its carefully planned protocols are in line with those officials’ suggestions and feedback－including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing and measures such as podded seating and touch-less in-stadium concessions, restroom access and security checkpoints.
The NFL hosted 1.2 million fans at 116 games during the regular season and playoffs.
“Florida is proud to host Super Bowl LV in Tampa to crown the champion of an unprecedented NFL season,” Florida governor Ron DeSantis said on the weekend.
“On behalf of Floridians and football fans across the nation, I’d like to thank the many men and women who have worked so hard to make this game a reality, especially our frontline healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly over the past year to keep people safe.”