With the NFL regular season kickoff just two months away, the secondary ticket market is starting to take shape. For the Indianapolis Colts, that shape is a little flatter than last year.
The Colts' average regular-season ticket price on the secondary market is down 21 percent compared to this time last year, according to Vivid Seats, a ticket broker on the secondary market.
The Colts finished last year an uninspiring 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. But Colts owner Jim Irsay shook up his front office by firing General Manager Ryan Grigson after five seasons and replacing him with Kansas City Chiefs executive Chris Ballard.
Ballard is seen by numerous league and team executives as a rising front-office star. But many Colts fans remain skeptical about the upcoming season because Coach Chuck Pagano, who has made a number of questionable in-game decisions the past two years, was retained.
The Colts draft picks, including first-round selection Malik Hooker, a safety out of Ohio Staten University, are widely viewed as steps in the right direction. But there is much concern about the lingering shoulder injury hampering quarterback Andrew Luck and the iffy offensive line the Colts expect to protect the star signal-caller. Much of the Colts draft focused on defense.
According to Vivid Seats, the current average price of a Colts regular-season ticket on the secondary market is $117. That’s far below the league average of $172. And while the Colts average ticket price on the secondary market is down, the league average is up 6 percent compared to this time last year.
Of course, a few Colts victories to start the season could quickly reverse the current downward trend for ticket prices on the secondary market.
Currently, the New England Patriots lead the pack with an average ticket price on the secondary market of $380, according to Vivid Seats. The Denver Broncos are the only other team with an average ticket price over $300, with an average at $302.
The average Colts ticket price on the secondary market ranks 26th in the 32-team NFL. Only Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams have lower average ticket prices on the secondary market, according to Vivid Seats.
The Colts rank third in its four-team division, trailing not only reigning division champion Houston, which has an average price of $138, which is down 18 percent from last year, but also Tenessee, which despite a 13 percent year-over-year decrease has an average ticket price on the secondary market of $142, according to Vivid Seats.
Jacksonville, one of the softest NFL markets, has an average secondary market ticket price for the upcoming season of $105, down 33 percent from last year.
So, apparently pessimism, or cautious optimism, is running rampant among fans following teams in the AFC South.
It's surprising that large-market teams in New York and Los Angeles rank so low, especially considering the Rams are playing only their second season back in the City of Angels. Perhaps it’s true what they say about L.A. being a soft football market, what with all the beaches, Hollywood distractions and other things to do there.
That argument might hold water except for one thing. The Chargers have seen their average ticket price skyrocket on the secondary market since moving from San Diego to L.A. this offseason.
Only Atlanta, the defending NFC champs, is generating a greater year-over-year increase in average ticket sale price on the secondary market than the Chargers, which have seen their ticket price on the secondary market double to $200 per game, according to Vivid Seats.
The Cincinnati Bengals hold the dubious distinction of having the lowest average ticket price on the secondary market at $86, down 24 percent from last season. I guess rookie running back Joe Mixon hasn’t done much to excite Bengals fans.
The Chicago Bears have an average ticket price of $209 on the secondary market, according to Vivid Seats. That's up 11 percent over this time last year.