Ticket prices for Jets a bad sign

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
2:09
PM ET
Look at the numbers and you’ll find the New York Jets as having the third-highest average attendance in the league after two games. But dig a little deeper and there’s a bigger story to tell.

It’s not the reported attendance number -- how many tickets sold -- that counts. It’s how many people showed up, who you sold tickets to and how much they sold them for if they chose to do so.

This past offseason, the Jets lowered the cheapest ticket prices in the stadium. Prices of some seats dropped from $105 to $75 or $50, depending on the row. Those who had tickets in end zone or in the corners of the stadium saw their prices drop from $95 to $75 or $50, depending on the row.

The results were pretty dramatic. The Jets got people to bite on some of those tickets that they were having trouble selling. But by looking at the resale market, the leading indicator of future ticket price health, things don’t look optimistic for next season. And the pressure is certainly on with the team at 2-2 and playing the undefeated Texans tonight.

The average resale of a Jets ticket this season has been $149 on NFL Ticket Exchange. That’s down from $180 last season.

Then look at those cheap seats, the prices of which were slashed. Here’s what we see for Monday’s game against the Texans. As of noon ET, there were more than 1,250 selling for less than $50, the cheapest face value in the stadium. There were nearly 500 seats selling for $25 or less. That’s a significant amount of seats, even taking into account that Monday sometimes doesn’t have the same draw as a Sunday game.

TiqIQ, a ticket resale search engine, said of the seats that have been sold, more than 5,000 of them are on the resale market. Remember those ticket prices that were lowered? Many of those cheaper tickets appear to have been purchased by brokers, as some are selling blocks of 20 or more to Monday’s game.

The Jets have denied an NFL Network report that they still had 12,000 seats to sell for the game, but the team has not said just how far off that is. The glut of tickets has had an effect on what fans have been willing to pay. TiqIQ data reflects that Monday’s game is the 29th-lowest-priced game of the entire NFL season on the resale market with an average listing price of $110.69.

Jets president Neil Glat told me he is not particularly concerned, especially coming off the San Francisco 49ers game, in which fans completely filled the stadium for a 34-0 loss, which turned out to be the third worst shutout in team history.

But Glat also said that he’s not dismissing lowering the prices of the upper deck and other areas of the stadium even more this offseason.

“We’re always looking at prices and making sure we’re delivering enough value,” Glat said.

Despite the recent drop in prices, Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index reflects that the Jets still have the highest non-premium average ticket in the league at $117.94, a ranking that Glat disputes.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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