The AFC Championship game is one of the most anticipated events on the NFL calendar every year. As one of the last steps before the Super Bowl, fans are always eager to secure tickets to see the top two AFC teams battle it out for a spot in the big game. Naturally, a high demand combined with a limited supply means that tickets don’t come cheap. But just how much do AFC Championship tickets cost? Let’s take a closer look.
Current AFC Championship Ticket Prices
The 2023 AFC Championship game will be played on January 29 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Kansas City Chiefs earned home field advantage this year, meaning they will host the game if they advance. Average resale prices for this year’s game are currently around $800 per ticket. Here’s a breakdown of the get-in price and average resale price on some major secondary ticket marketplaces as of January 2023:
|Average Resale Price
As you can see, tickets are not cheap. Even just getting in the door will cost you nearly $800 at minimum. And that’s before fees, which can sometimes add hundreds more to your total cost. The average resale price is approaching $1,000 per seat.
Factors That Impact AFC Championship Ticket Prices
Several key factors account for the lofty ticket prices each year:
Supply and Demand
Arrowhead Stadium holds just over 76,000 fans. With fan bases from two teams clamoring for tickets, demand drastically outweighs supply. Basic economics means prices get driven up. Chiefs fans also have a reputation for having one of the best home-field advantages in football.
Some matchups generate more interest than others, impacting prices. A matchup featuring teams with huge national fanbases like the Steelers, Patriots, or Broncos tends to drive prices up. A matchup of small-market teams typically means lower prices.
Smaller stadiums mean fewer tickets available and higher prices. Larger stadiums can moderately lower prices. Arrowhead is on the bigger side, which prevents even higher prices.
Tickets purchased on secondary markets incur fees on top of the ticket price, increasing costs. Sellers also tack on margins to turn a profit.
Fans must account for travel and hotel costs on top of the tickets, especially if the game involves airfare. Kansas City prices surge for the AFC Championship.
How Prices Have Changed Over Time
To understand the trend in AFC Championship ticket prices, let’s look at some key data points over the last decade:
2012: $215 average ticket price
2015: $408 average ticket price
2018: $435 average ticket price
2021: $695 average ticket price
A few things stand out:
– Prices have risen steadily over the past decade, more than tripling since 2012.
– The 2015 game in Foxboro between the Patriots and Colts marked a turning point with a huge price jump.
– Prices have escalated rapidly in the last few years, cracking $600+ average in 2019 and nearing $1,000 now.
– Ticket price inflation has significantly outpaced general inflation measures like the Consumer Price Index.
Several factors explain the rapid price inflation:
– Increased comfort buying tickets on resale sites like StubHub.
– Growth of the secondary ticket market and reselling industry.
– NFL popularity and revenue growth driving up demand.
– Fans’ increased willingness to pay higher premiums for big events.
All signs point toward prices continuing to climb, especially if the NFL remains so popular. Don’t expect any major deals on AFC Championship tickets unless demand craters one year.
Where to Buy AFC Championship Tickets
Now that you know the steep cost, where should you buy tickets if you want to attend the big game? Here are some of the best options:
NFL Ticket Exchange
The NFL Ticket Exchange is the official secondary ticket marketplace of the NFL. It offers guaranteed verified tickets. This is the safest option to avoid fraud or scam listings. However, the Ticket Exchange typically has the highest ticket prices.
Team/Stadium Box Offices
Fans lucky enough to score AFC Championship tickets during the limited general public on-sale typically get the best prices directly through the Chiefs box office. However, the odds of landing tickets here are extremely low.
StubHub is the largest secondary ticket marketplace. It offers plenty of inventory and competitive prices compared to other resellers. StubHub also provides buyer guarantees against fraud.
Vivid Seats is another large ticket reseller with a wide selection of verified tickets. Filtering by specific criteria like price and seat location is easy. Vivid also offers a buyer guarantee.
SeatGeek aggregates ticket listings from multiple sellers on one platform. Great sorting features help buyers find the best deals. Each purchase is fully guaranteed.
Gametime is a mobile-focused reseller offering high-value last-minute deals. Prices drop as game time approaches, sometimes significantly. Riskier than other options but great for bargain hunters.
While nothing beats getting tickets straight from the source, reputable resellers are the next best option for fans. Be prepared to act quickly if you see a good deal.
Tips for Getting the Best Deal
Landing cheap(er) AFC Championship tickets is tough but not impossible. Here are some tips and tricks:
Prices typically rise over time as it gets closer to game day. Buying as soon as tickets go on sale gives you the best shot at the lowest price. Sign up for team and reseller sales alerts.
Shop Multiple Sites
Check prices across as many sellers as possible. Leverage sites like SeatGeek that compile listings. One seller might be running a promotion or have unsold inventory.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
If possible, fly or drive at off-peak times to reduce costs. Come a day early or leave a day late. You’ll save money on airfare and hotels.
Consider Upper Level or Corner Seats
The biggest bargains are for seats higher up or in the corners. The game still looks great from up high. Sacrificing prime locations can save big.
Buy Single Tickets
It’s cheaper to buy solo seats and avoid pairs or groups when possible. Two solo tickets might save $100+ over a pair in the same row.
Join Fan Clubs
Season ticket holders and team fan club members sometimes get special access to extra ticket inventory for the AFC Championship.
Wait Until Last Minute
Tickets sometimes drop in price at the very last minute if sellers get desperate. This is risky but can pay off.
Is It Worth It?
No sporting event forces fans to open their wallets quite like the AFC Championship. Is paying nearly $1,000 per ticket actually worth it? That depends on your budget and level of passion for NFL football.
Here are some pros and cons to weigh:
– Incredible atmosphere seeing the two best AFC teams battle with the Super Bowl on the line.
– Extremely limited ticket availability makes it a rare opportunity.
– Great story to tell and lifelong memory, especially if your team wins.
– Arrowhead Stadium offers one of football’s great environments.
– Paying over 5X the regular season ticket price is extremely expensive.
– No guarantee your team will win and advance to the Super Bowl.
– Watching on TV in HD is vastly cheaper.
– Cold late January weather in Kansas City can be brutal.
– Nosebleed seats are harder to justify at $800+.
For many hardcore NFL fans, the chance to see their team fight for a Super Bowl berth in person is a no-brainer no matter the cost. Others would rather save money and watch comfortably at home or a bar unless they can land an amazing deal.
Ultimately, determine your budget threshold, how badly you want the experience, and how much financial sacrifice makes sense. If money is no object, AFC Championship tickets can make for an epic sporting memory.
The AFC Championship remains one of the hottest tickets in sports. With rabid fan bases vying for limited seats, massive demand has driven resale prices up to nearly $1,000 on average. Don’t expect great deals — cheap tickets are very hard to come by.
While the costs are sky-high, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many fans. The electric atmosphere and high stakes make it a truly exceptional event. By buying early, shopping around, and making some sacrifices, dedicated NFL fans can still find ways to make the costs a little more manageable. Just prepare for some serious sticker shock.