The big game draws a big crowd both in-person and virtually every year in February, and Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest viewership days of the year. In addition, it has given birth to America’s tradition of throwing Super Bowl parties every year on the first Sunday of February.
Not only do roughly 100 million people tune in to watch the National Football League’s (NFL) annual championship game on live television or live stream, but tens of thousands of people attend the event in person.
While the first Super Bowl tickets sold for a mere $12, high demand for attendance to the big game has blown up ticket prices over the years.
Super Bowl ticket prices over the past 45 years
- $12-$15 per ticket
- In today’s currency: $78-$99
- $20-$40 per ticket
- In today’s currency: $84-$118
- $60-$100 per ticket
- In today’s currency: $143-$217
- $125-$200 per ticket
- In today’s currency: $245-$337
Turn of the Millennium
- $275-$500 per ticket
- $600-$1000 per ticket
- $1200-$2000 per ticket
- $2500 per ticket
2019: Average between $2900-$4300 per ticket
2020: $6621 per ticket
2021: $6200 per ticket
Why have Super Bowl ticket prices changed so much?
The simple answer to the steady increase in Super Bowl ticket pricing over the years is the popularity of the big game. The event gained the most popularity in the mid-1990s, which led to it being the spectacle today.
In its early years, the championship game had half-time shows put on by university marching bands and Elvis impersonators. Nowadays, big headliners like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga perform half-time, drawing in even more in-person crowds.
What other factors impact Super Bowl ticket prices?
Other than the popularity of the championship game itself, Super Bowl tickets are affected by various other factors.
The teams playing
Which teams make it to the Super Bowl play a part in what a ticket to the big game will cost. If a team has a mainly devoted fan base, ticket demand will increase, and tickets will become pricier.
For example, Super Bowl LII in 2018 saw almost 15% of Super Bowl ticket sales on StubHub sold to residents of Pennsylvania, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. Fans were excited to see their team get to the big game again after almost 15 years.
The host city
If the Super Bowl is hosted at a larger destination with a lot of recreation, fans will be more likely to seek out tickets. Furthermore, it increases demand and, therefore, ticket prices.
The stadium capacity
Low seating capacity at the hosting stadium also creates a high demand for Super Bowl tickets and increases prices. For example, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021, Super Bowl LV was held in Tampa, FL, limiting the stadium’s capacity to 25,000 fans for appropriate social distancing.
2021 saw the highest average Super Bowl ticket price in history, with the exception of the previous year.
How many people attend the Super Bowl every year?
The capacity of the hosting stadium plays the most significant role in the physical attendance numbers of the big game. In general, Super Bowls, for the past ten years, except for 2021’s limited capacity, have had attendance numbers between 70,000 and 80,000.
Previously, the 1980 Super Bowl, held at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, still had the highest in-person attendance at 103,985 people.
While the 2021 Super Bowl saw limited capacity, those restrictions will be lifted for the big game in 2022. Tickets are currently priced starting at $5,950 and go all the way up to $21,250 based on seat location and package details.
Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium can hold 70,000 fans with expanded seating allowing for over 100,000 people. Attendance for the 2022 Super Bowl anticipates being one of the largest crowds in history for the big game.