Despite Peyton's return, Colts ticket value still lags

July 17, 2013
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The Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos game at Lucas Oil Stadium is still three months away, but local ticket brokers are already salivating over the potential profit the game could bring.

A study released this week shows there’s good reason for the Pavlovian response.

Chicago-based secondary ticket broker Vivid Seats this week released its league-wide analysis of NFL ticket prices, finding that the Colts-Broncos game Oct. 20 is the Colts’ highest-priced home game on the secondary market. On average, ticket prices for that game are selling for $400.

That’s more than double the next-highest-priced game, according to Vivid Seats. Tickets for the Colts home game against Houston on Dec. 15 are selling for an average of $171.

“This game stands alone on the Colts schedule in terms of interest,” said Mike Peduto, co-owner of locally based Circle City Tickets. “It’s a big enough game that it’s bringing in some national interest in terms of ticket sales.”

Ticket brokers say they haven’t seen a game creating this kind of demand for tickets here since the undefeated Colts squared off against the undefeated New England Patriots on Nov. 4, 2007. That year, the Colts were coming off their Super Bowl championship and the Patriots were on their way to a 16-0 season.

This year, the major story line is Peyton Manning’s returning to Indianapolis for a game for the first time since he left the Colts to join the Broncos following the 2011-12 season. Manning hasn’t played a game at Lucas Oil Stadium since the 2010 season.

A check of several of the biggest secondary ticket brokers found that tickets for the Colts-Broncos game are selling as high as $1,990 per seat. And there’s an oddity about the highest priced tickets.

“Usually, people pay more to sit behind the bench of the home team,” Peduto said. “For this game, people are paying more to sit behind the Broncos bench because they want to be as close as possible to Peyton Manning.”

Peduto and other ticket brokers said tickets behind the visiting Broncos bench are selling for about 20 percent higher than those behind the home team.

Peduto doesn’t think fans will be able to get in the door for less than $200, about quadruple the price of the lowest-priced seat on the secondary market for the Colts’ other home games.

“A lot of people just want to be there to be able to say, ‘I was there when Peyton came back,’” Peduto explained. “I think you’ll find this crowd to be very pro Peyton. You’re not going to hear many boos.”

Despite the big boost from the Broncos game, the Colts aren’t exactly stampeding over other NFL teams in ticket demand on the secondary market. According to Vivid Seats, the Colts are 18th out of 32 NFL teams, with an average sale price of $177.

And as big a game as the Colts-Broncos game is, it doesn’t crack the top 15 in terms of greatest secondary demand, according to Vivid Seats.

The biggest factors in determining those prices, ticket brokers said, is market size and fan avidity within those markets. The league-wide analysis shows fans in New England and Chicago drive a lot of demand. Peyton Manning also is a major driver in Denver and when he plays on the road.

See below for some interest statistics on ticket demand (via Vivid Tickets) for the upcoming season.

Average price of tickets to Colts home game
Denver Broncos, Oct. 20, $400
Houston Texans, Dec. 15, $171
Seattle Seahawks, Oct. 6, $159
Oakland Raiders, Sept. 8, $149
Miami Dolphins, Sept. 15, $140
Tennessee Titans, Dec. 1, $140
St. Louis Rams, Nov. 10, $138
Jacksonville Jaguars, Dec. 29, $138

Overall average secondary market ticket price by team (per home game)
1. New England Patriots $431
2. Chicago Bears $416
3. Denver Broncos $317
4. New York Giants $317
5. New Orleans Saints $273
6. Green Bay Packers $269
7. Baltimore Ravens $268
8. Pittsburgh Steelers $255
9. Dallas Cowboys $254
10. Seattle Seahawks $250
11. New York Jets $222
12. Houston Texans $220
13. San Francisco 49ers $216
14. Philadelphia Eagles $199
15. Washington Redskins $196
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers $184
17. San Diego Chargers $180
18. Indianapolis Colts $177
19. Miami Dolphins $164
20. Carolina Panthers $161
21. Atlanta Falcons $157
22. Detroit Lions $140
23. Minnesota Vikings $137
24. St. Louis Rams $137
25. Jacksonville Jaguars $136
26. Cincinnati Bengals $134
27. Arizona Cardinals $126
28. Kansas City Chiefs $124
29. Buffalo Bills $122
30. Oakland Raiders $120
31. Tennessee Titans $112
32. Cleveland Browns $106

Top 15 NFL match-ups (in terms of secondary ticket market demand)
1. Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, Nov. 24, $575
2. Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots, Nov. 3, $534
3. Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos, Sept. 5, $470
4. New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots, Sept. 12, $461
5. Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears, Dec. 29, $458
6. Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears, Dec. 9, $458
7. Denver Broncos at New York Giants, Sept. 15, $458
8. Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints, Nov. 10, $455
9. New York Jets at New England Patriots, Sept. 12, $441
10. Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots, Oct. 27, $425
11. San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, Sept. 15, $418
12. Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears, Sept. 8, $417
13. New York Giants at Chicago Bears, Oct. 10, $417
14. Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, Sept. 15, $411
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England, Sept. 22, $411

  • Tix Cost
    My 100" TV with Directv digital and 8.1 surround will be better than being there. Beer colder and can watch the game with my smokin' GF in private
    • Wierd conclusion
      I found the stats in this article interesting, but the conclusion and title suggest colts are not doing well at the gate. This is misleading and sensationalist journalism.
    • No Surprise.
      The force feeding of Indianapolis as a sports town is purely a manipulation that serves the narrow interests of select glad-handing jock sniffers (hope you're reading, Mayor Ballard). Even the Super Bowl in Indy was seen as an abject failure on the secondary ticket market - it was deemed a "locals" Super Bowl by ticket resellers and resulted in an overall LOSS to the Indy economy. Still, the city annually ponies up to the extortionate demands of the Colts and Pacers, is looking to fork over $6 million for a cricket stadium - A CRICKET STADIUM - and is even trying to foist another Super Bowl boondoggle down our throats. Face it, we are a decent minor league town (it doesn't get any better than the Indians anywhere in the country), we've got the NCAA, but we're not a legitimate sports Mecca or even a halfway decent professional sports town. We need to be focusing on infrastructure, education and supporting the arts if we want to be seen as anything BUT Indian-noplace. And please, to Mayor Ballard an the rest of you genuflecting at the altar of the Colts and Pacers, stop the jock sniffing. There are more important things this city needs right now. End of story.
      • Average Joe Can't Afford the Face Price of a Ticket
        I'd love to see a Colts home game (have never been inside Lucas), but cannot justify the ticket, parking, gas, food, and over-priced beer in this shaky economy, so I enjoy the games at home with friends and family. Guess they're going to have to depend on someone else.
      • Trying for a dark cloud
        Forbes recently ranked the Colts the 20th most valuable sports team in the world... Season tickets are back on waiting list a year after losing the face of the team (practically the face of the NFL) Compare that to Denver and Miami post Elway and Marino. This article is trying to hard to spin a negative. And Garland If you think the Colts haven't benefited the city you're not looking very hard. Downtown was ghost town past 6pm any night of the week before 1984. And to those that say it's too expensive to go to a game, yeah it might be costly but tickets can be had for under $50, you can park for $10 or free if you can walk a bit, and I'm pretty sure you can go 3.5 hours with out eating and drinking.
      • Elaine
        I am a middle-income guy who has had Colts tix since the beginning. Since I don't smoke or buy Starbux coffee, I can afford the $3 a day that it costs me to buy a pair of decent seats. I park free on the street and walk in. And I might spend $20-25 on food and drink 10x per year...less than another dollar a day. So for the price of a triple mocha grande latte, I watch the Colts in person. It's all about priorities.
      • Mr Choke
        He is past his prime. Mr Choke. Only won the big one once since Brady was not 100% that season.
        • bad title
          Anthony, how about changing the headline of this story to read , "Despite Peyton's Departure, Colts Continue to Sell Out!" ??

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        Sponsored by
        1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

        2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

        3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

        4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

        5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.