- Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Sports Business reporter
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Thursday will be one of the biggest days in ticket resale history. Why? Because the NBA playoff matchups are set and the NFL schedule is coming out. We’re talking about tons of fans scrambling to find the tickets they want over the next 24 hours.
First, let’s talk about the NFL:
To look at this from a ticket broker’s point of view, I phoned Patrick Ryan of The Ticket Experience in Houston to discuss how things go down.
Ryan says brokers first look at their home team’s opponents and figure out what matchups are the most important. From a national perspective, the next thing he does is look at when and where the Packers, Cowboys and Steelers play. And finally, he says he looks at the night matchups on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
“The biggest difference in this year versus last year is the rise of the young quarterbacks, which is going to raise the secondary-ticket market value,” Ryan says. “Aside from RG III and Colin Kaepernick, those that will make an impact on the road will be Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.”
Ryan says conference champions always see an uptick in travel for their road games the following season, but Colin Kaepernick’s electric play elevates the 49ers from being a top-15 road draw, as they were last year, to arguably the top seven. This doesn’t help the Jaguars' season-ticket holders as they lose that exciting game to London.
A game Ryan particularly has his eye on is Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis.
“The last-minute scramble for tickets could prove difficult if it is late in the season and both teams are fighting for the playoffs,” Ryan says.
The biggest rise in interest for a road team might be Ryan’s hometown Texans.
“This time two years ago, the Texans were one of the three least-desirable road tickets in the league,” Ryan says. “That has now changed with the team’s success and two marketable stars in Arian Foster and J.J. Watt.”
Ryan says one of the big changes that contributes to the Texans being a hotter road ticket is that the team’s fans are finally traveling on the road to see the team.
NBA fans are also scrambling to set their schedule for the first round of the playoffs: There’s the James Harden Classic between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. And the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers, who squeaked into the No. 7 seed Wednesday night, will take on the San Antonio Spurs. And the New York Knicks-Boston Celtics matchup should be a high-priced ticket.
The saddest matchup from a ticket standpoint? The Indiana Pacers against the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams can’t be happy, from a business standpoint, that they got each other.