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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Uncertainties, weak home schedule hurting Colts ticket demand

August 2, 2017
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Indianapolis Colts officials expect to fill Lucas Oil Stadium for every regular season game this year.

But area ticket brokers say the market for Colts tickets is very soft, at least so far.

“We’re expecting sellouts across the board once more,” Colts Chief Operations Officer Pete Ward told IBJ. 

Ward added that tickets for all eight home games at the 63,000-seat Lucas Oil Stadium are still available, but he said the team is close to selling out contests against Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Denver and Cleveland. 

“The other [games] have more available, but are selling,” Ward said.

This year is a far cry from the 2014-15 seasons, when the Colts very nearly sold out the stadium via season tickets and were aggressively promoting the season-ticket waiting list. In the spring 2015, the Colts capped season-ticket sales at 61,000 to preserve some seats for group sales.

One sign that selling out Colts games is more challenging than usual is the offering of two-game packages that involve two regular-season games. Tickets for the Nov. 12 Pittsburgh Steelers game are being sold in tandem with the Dec. 14 Denver Broncos game. And the Oct. 8 game against the San Francisco 49ers (the game that Peyton Manning’s jersey will be retired) is being paired with the Sept. 17 home opener against the Arizona Cardinals. 

Ticket brokers told IBJ that the Pittsburgh and San Francisco games are the only tickets selling well right now.

The lack of marquee teams and players on this year’s Colts home schedule, along with the team’s uncertain outlook—including quarterback Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury—have made ticket sales softer than they’ve been in many years, said Renny Harrison, owner of Carmel-based FanFare Tickets. 

“It’s pretty challenging right now. It’s pretty bad,” Harrison said. “There’s so much uncertainty. I think until we get some idea of how the team will play, we’re in a holding pattern.”

The Thursday night game against Denver is making matters worse. “If you have kids or live over an hour away [from Indianapolis], you’re probably not going to that game,” Harrison said.

But brokers see some reason for optimism.

“I’m still hopeful. After all, the Colts are undefeated right now. And as I look at the schedule, the Colts could win some games,” Harrison said. “If the Colts win some games early, everything is solved.”

 

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