Super Bowl I Tickets Cost $12 and Still Didn't Sell Out

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According to the Wall Street Journal, tickets for Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey next February will top out at $2,600. That's a huge jump from the previous Super Bowl, when the most expensive tickets cost $1,250. The NFL has come a long way since the first Super Bowl in 1967, when the league charged $6, $10, and $12*—and couldn't even sell out the game.

The week before the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the New York Times wasn't sold on this Super Bowl business, especially the decision to not broadcast the game live in Los Angeles:

"With all the hoopla, however, some critics have questioned whether this is the Dream Game to end all dream games. With tickets ranging from $6 behind the end zone to $12 top, the Super Bowl is a nightmare to many fans. For every buff willing to shell out at those Broadway prices, there appear to be two fans bemoaning the TV blackout and threatening to stay home anyway."

NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle admitted the prices may have been too steep. "If we had to do it all over again," he told the Times the day before the game, "we probably would scale the seats lower." To get around the blackout—the game was shown in LA on tape-delay at midnight and again at 3pm Monday—a local radio station provided instructions for getting the live TV signal from San Diego. These instructions included a broomstick and five wire coat-hangers.

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl that didn't sell out. Fans and corporations will surely snatch up this season's $2,600 tickets, too. And as the Journal reports, indoor suites, which come with 30 tickets, are going for $500,000 and up.

If you choose to watch at home, you'll be in good company. According to Nielsen, 108 million people watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers and hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy back in February. And probably none of them required a broomstick or five wire coat-hangers.

* Adjusted for inflation, that's about $42, $70, and $84 today.

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September 17, 2013 - 1:30pm
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