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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Colts London game should score team $2.5M in additional ticket revenue

January 19, 2016
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Premium individual tickets for the Indianapolis Colts game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London went on sale Tuesday morning. A wider swath of tickets to the general public will go on sale Thursday. And it looks like the game will mean a big payday for both teams.

A search on Ticketmaster showed the most expensive tickets available on Tuesday were about $227 each (after making the conversion from pounds). Those were 200 level tickets (premium sideline level two) in the second level of the massive 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium, which seats about 83,000 for American football. That’s what popped up when I punched in ‘best available.’

From the ticket-buying web site, it’s difficult to tell what the lower level tickets will cost.

On Thursday, tickets at a wider variety of price points will become available—all the way down to $53.25 for obstructed view. It looks like tickets in the rafters and on the end of the field with an unobstructed view will cost about $57.

In any event, the massive venue brings in lots of ticket revenue for the NFL.

With an average ticket cost of a little less than $135 for NFL games in London, each game at Wembley brings in about $11 million in ticket revenue, according to the International Business Times. That means the NFL will haul in about $33 million for its three games scheduled in London in ticket revenue alone.

That’s good news for the Jaguars and Colts—because they split ticket revenue for their game.

The game will be considered a home game for Jacksonville and the ticket distribution will be the same as it is for a normal game, with Jacksonville as the home team getting 66 percent of ticket revenue and the Colts getting 34 percent.

Let’s do a quick calculation how much more ticket revenue the Jags and Colts will get for their game in London than they would have if it was played in Jacksonville.

In 2015, the Jaguars averaged 61,463 for each home game played in Jacksonville . With an average ticket to a Jacksonville home game costing about $60, that brings in $3.7 million (not including suite and premium seating fees—which the home team keeps).

Of that, the Colts would score $1.26 million in ticket revenue and the Jaguars would get $2.44 million.

For their game at Wembley—assuming it sells out as expected—the Colts will earn $3.74 million in ticket revenue and the Jags will pocket $7.26 million.

That’s a nice $2.48 million ticket revenue bump for the Colts. And the Jags are an even bigger winner bringing in nearly $5 million more in ticket revenue than if they would have played in front of their own lukewarm fan base in Florida.

Of course, there are added expenses to playing across the pond.

League officials estimate it will cost the Colts several hundred thousand more dollars to travel to London than it would a typical away game played in the U.S.

Though Colts and NFL officials wouldn’t elaborate, the league will cover part of the team’s expenses to travel and play overseas.

Most NFL teams take between 215 and 250 people with them when traveling to Europe. The cost to fly the team’s entourage to London could cost more than $250,000.

But even after covering air fare and other additional expenses, the Colts still should come out well ahead.

 

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