Posted January 13, 2014

Seahawks, Broncos set geographic limits for conference championship ticket sales

AFC West, Denver Broncos, NFC West, NFL Playoffs, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are hoping to keep Niners fans far away from CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks are hoping to keep Niners fans far away from CenturyLink Field. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos each lost just one game at home this year, and now that both teams are getting set to host their conference championships, both are looking to establish as much of a home-field advantage as possible.

Soon after the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints in Saturday’s divisional round, the team released this:

The Seattle Seahawks have announced that tickets for the NFC Championship Game to be played on Sunday, January 19 at CenturyLink Field will go on sale Monday, January 13 at 10 a.m.   Tickets will be available to fans with a billing address in WA, OR, MT, ID, AK, HI and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

In other words, fans of the San Francisco 49ers, specifically those who live near the team, are out of luck. Predictably, those fans were not amused — and insinuated that the diversion was an admission of fear.

“What kind of nonsense is that? Are they that afraid of the Niners Nation?” posited Fred Santillan to KTVU.com.

“It’s pretty sad,” added David Fucillo, who runs SB Nation’s excellent Niners Nation website. “There was no need to do this. It adds another distraction.”

Still, if you’re looking to beat the Seahawks up as the only team to do this … well, don’t. The Denver Broncos similarly announced after their Sunday win over the San Diego Chargers that tickets on sale Monday morning for the conference championship game against the New England Patriots “will be available only to those with a valid billing address in the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Western Kansas.”

In other words, if you reside anywhere near Foxboro, you’ll have to find other ways to attend.

Fans can still purchase tickets through resellers and through Ticketmaster, though the prices are already exorbitant — from $464 for a nosebleed seat all the way up to $122,000 (!) for a seat near the end zone at CenturyLink.

It’s not the first time that NFL teams have taken such measures. In January 2007, the San Diego Chargers tried to limit access to tickets for their playoff game against the Patriots to Southern California residents.

“Our goal has always been to fill our stadium with Charger fans and supporters of the team,” said team spokesman Bill Johnston. “This also helps give our team the best home-field advantage possible,”

In that same timeframe, the Chicago Bears set measures in motion to block Seattle Seahawks fans from buying tickets for the divisional playoff between the two teams.

At that time, league spokesman Greg Aiello said that there was no rule that would prohibit such limitations.

136 comments
RJBush
RJBush

Not sure it mattered. In Denver, all the tickets sold out in 12 minutes. They earned home field advantage by winning more games than the Patriots (or Niners in Seattle's case.) Let them protect that advantage by selling tickets locally. 

TruthTeller
TruthTeller

This does not block any person from getting the tickets.  What it does is make it more likely that the tickets will be re-sold at a substantial markup.   NFL stadiums are not "family friendly" and they are becoming quite "hooliganistic", to coin my own term.


I would not attend an NFL game, regardless of whether or not it was the team for which I cheer, even if you paid me to do so.  There is no fun in being surrounded by drunken fools who started drinking hours before the game and then are whipped into a frenzy by being around others like themselves.  It is the recipe for disaster.

michaeltn
michaeltn

Why is this big news? Is it because of the 40Whiners fans whining that this only happens to them? This stuff has been going on for years and I have no problem with it. When the Seahawks played against the Bears in in the Division Round a couple of years ago the Bears blocked Seahawks fan from buying tickets. It's call HOME FIELD advantage people so of course you want to pack as many of your home crowd in your YOUR stadium. If you don't like it get home field advantage next year.


GoHawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

lopiderr
lopiderr

check this out, it can help.


youtube.com/watch?v=w3tsujitUvs

youtube.com/watch?v=9YxiuiuETpE

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Their stadiums, their teams, their business...

H9
H9

So that means that only ticket brokers from those states will get their hands on them first.

MattLewallen
MattLewallen

Its called home field advantage for a reason. The whole stadium should be roaring for the home team. Its why they fight so hard to win home field advantage through the season! Love to hear the stadium roar! Go broncos! PFM!

MikeAllen
MikeAllen

The NFL needs to take action on this matter. And, they need to set a limit on just how much above face value that a ticket can be re-sold for.  Loyal fans are being shut out because of this matter, and it's time that the NFL stepped in and put a stop to it, and any team that violates the rule should be heavily punished, and in more ways than just financial.....  I am the founder of the biggest, and most well know Patriot fan club in the world, The New England Patriots Fan Club Of Arizona, founded in 1997 with only 24 members and since then, over 2,000 Patriot fans have gone through our membership rolls.,,,,,  We have our regular club headquarters, at a sport Bar owned by a guy from Boston and when we fill it up, as we usually do, for EVERY GAME, it is as good as, and often times even better, than actually being in the stadium, and a hell of a lot less expensive......We have all of the same camaraderie with our friends, and other Pats fans, as we would have in a stadium, without the cold, rain or snow and without the overpriced ticket costs, parking costs and refreshment costs.   And, on many occasions we have had visits from Patriot players, old and new, Bob Kraft the team owner has visited us on multiple occasions and we have had media from all of the New England states and from the southwest states be at our headquarters for game, with TV crews and cameras......... Sure, being at the stadium is great, I did it for 29 years 1960-1988 before moving here, to Arizona from Boston.....but our game days are just as exciting and just as much fun.... and a hell of a lot warmer and drier.......BTW, any, and all, Pats fans are always welcome to join us if you are ever in Phoenix.... and you can contact us at nepatsaz@yahoo.com or through our web site www.nepfca.com....GO PATS

footballfanatic7
footballfanatic7

In 2007 the Rockies played Boston in the World Series.  As soon as the tickets went on sale they were snapped up by ticket brokers and fans for Boston. It caused a big uproar over how the tickets were sold. It was a sea of Red in the stands only because Rockies fans were pushed out of the availability.  And don't say the Rockies don't have any fans....they set attendance records even with mainly bad teams.   In 2009 they changed how you could buy play off tickets to ensure the majority of tickets went to local fans.  We appreciated that. 


If you want to go to the game - hope your team wins home field advantage or pay the price.


paulbfl
paulbfl

Been going on for years, but still irritating. Dropped my season tickets 2 years ago; even Sunday Ticket this past year; only a matter of time when most of us get priced out of the market. College football is still (fairly) open.

HayleySkyeCarney
HayleySkyeCarney

I am not a fan of any of the last 4 teams left and I think this serves as poor sportsmanship and tramples on freedom of choice.  But I will say that the 49'rs  ad Broncos have always been crap teams, This years SB belongs to Seattle and NE, and Seattle will come out victorious.  This years SB is going to suck anyways as its in the garbage state.

therednorth1
therednorth1

This happens every single year, yet this is the year the media decides to make a story of it?

DanLeeper
DanLeeper

I'm a Hawks fan, that said this isn't right. There should be a block of tickets available to the visiting team much like the NCAA. If I where a 49er's fan that wished to attend the game  I'd be hot!...., Smack down in Seattle. GO HAWKS!!!

Bostmm55
Bostmm55

It is a non-story . . . they got home field advantage !   however  I hope karma sucks for these teams. . . . maybe next year they have fans who have no access.    Who are we kidding anyway people who get tickets to these things are either connected in the first place or  spending a mortgage payment for a game they should watching from home. 

JimKirkwood
JimKirkwood

I look for some money to be made on ebay

RangerBoo
RangerBoo

Thank you SI for being neutral as well as checking your facts and not being one sided crybabies like on Yahoo Sports in regards to this subject. The 49er fans are acting like this is only happening to them when really this has been going on for a long time.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Seahags and their fans are running scared. 49ers will mud stomp 'em.

MarkMousseau
MarkMousseau

People need to relax.  This has been going on for years.  Fact is, the game sold out in minutes via the team sponsored site.  Ticket Network and Stub Hub have had seats available for two weeks pending which team would win and with guarantees of full refunds if "your" team didn't make it.  If fans are so upset, buy your ticket in the after market.  I did two weeks ago and although it was expensive, it was worth every penny! 

KevinDoucette
KevinDoucette

@MattLewallen I totally agree and I'm a Pats fan. See no problem with that. Should do it at every home game! Go Pats!!!

Wil2
Wil2

@MikeAllen You do not get it. 


What does the NFL need to take action on, exactly?


Tickets are put up for sale, at fair market prices to SEASON TICKET HOLDERS FIRST. 


If a season ticket holder wishes to scalp his ticket at an exorbitant rate it is not the business of the NFL. 


It is the business of the guy who bought the ticket and the guy who was willing to pay him an exorbitant amount for it on the secondary market. 


You cannot eliminate fans selling tickets as this would be unfair. 


What if I buy tickets and have a death in the family?


Am I suddenly unable to sell them to anyone else?  I fail to see what action you want taken that would impact anyone but a fan who wishes to sell a ticket he or she has already purchased. 


I loathe the scalpers who log on and buy up all the great concert tickets as much as you likely do but they are free to do so because aside from limitations to how many tickets one can buy at a time; there is nothing to prevent an individual from making such a purchase. 


What exactly is your remedy?


To make the tickets available to YOU or your friends?  Why would that be fair to people who actually live in the area and support the Broncos?


Look, stadiums only hold so many and that's that. 


You cannot please everyone and the system in place allows for the best recourse possible as the secondary market does exist and it is not like people are physically banning Patriots fans from entering. 

cronotose
cronotose

@MikeAllen Time to learn what a free market economy is. The sale price of an item is determined by the supply-demand ratio. When demand is higher than supply, prices go up. Nobody has any right to lower prices because they would like them that way, just like nobody has any right to be able to buy tickets in the first place.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@MikeAllen Wow - this loser just admitted to being the founder of a NE Gaytriots Fannyclub...


I think it's great that clubs can reward their own fans for their support. Want to watch your team in the playoffs? Tell them to earn it by winning more games! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

bserious
bserious

@footballfanatic7Perhaps I'm missing something, but you don't seem to be saying that the Red Sox actively prohibited Rockes fans from buying tickets, meaning that tickets were on a first come first serve basis, so what exactly was the problem in 2007? Did fans in Denver not like it that Sox fans, who know that tickets can go quickly due to high interest and a relatively small ballpark, bought tickets too fast?  Do the Rockies set aside tickets for people from out of town or something, so people just buying tickets as soon as they become available is seen as unfair to Denver fans?  Is there also an uproar there if a concert sells out quickly in Denver?  I'm not understanding what your reported uproar was about.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@paulbfl If you can't afford an NFL TV package maybe you need to get a better job...

Wil2
Wil2

@HayleySkyeCarney I agree. 


Joe Montana.  Dwight Clark.  Jerry Rice.  Bill Walsh. 


All crap. 


Those 49er teams were the laughingstock of pro sports. 

RJBush
RJBush

@HayleySkyeCarney Seattle has been to exactly how many Super Bowls? If you want to talk about teams having always been crap teams, Seattle is the closest on the list. 

Leftcoast7
Leftcoast7

Now, now.....What are you going on about? And from your comment it appears that you're a young thing, and don't remember the Joe Montana ( and Steve Young) led teams. Anyway, it seems like you're angry, and that's too bad.

Merv
Merv

@therednorth1 It's because the media knows the 49er fans will whine and complain about it and turn it into a story.

RJBush
RJBush

@DanLeeper There is a block of tickets available to fans of opposing teams. The Patriots get an allotment of tickets to sell as they see fit. NE fans can contact the team to find out how to buy them. Any unused allotment is usually sent back to the home team to be sold through their ticket outlets. I doubt there were any left. 

Arthur7
Arthur7

@DanLeeper 


There were hardly any available public tickets, even the the San Francisco newspaper reporting the story said "a few thousand at most" since seasons ticket holders and those on the waiting list for seasons tickets get first crack (and that total is more than the number of seats in the stadium).


It's a non-story, a non-issue, and Seattle gets hammered for trying to make the few seats available go to their loyal fans.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@Bostmm55 You actually believe in 'karma'?? Are you a buddhist, or just a fool? Why not employ the similarly foolish 'everything happens for a reason'?? 

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@MarkMousseau It's ok. Most of these outraged posters just got the internet recently. They're learning all kinds of things now...

KevinDoucette
KevinDoucette

@Joebuckster@MikeAllenWhat are you 12 or something. Actually a 12 year year old would have more brains than you. Grow up.


Your second part is true although the sarcasm is not needed. just makes you look even more immature.

Wil2
Wil2

@bserious @footballfanatic7 There IS an uproar if a concert sells out. 


The Color Me Badd "incident" of 1991 was one such uproar. 


Color Me Badd was riding high on the waves of' 'New Jack City' and everyone in Denver was excited to hear "I Wanna Sex You Up" on a Friday night. 


The concert sold out in 7 minutes and 4 seconds. 


At least 83,289 Color Me Badd fans stormed the gates and it was like a cross between Great White at the Station Nightclub and The Who at Riverfront. 


Fires.  People crushed to death by crazed concert goers. 


A buddy of mine lost his wife in the melee and all they found was a left high heel, a patch of bloody hair and a ticket stub when they finally got to the bottom of the pile. 


You know not of reported uproars in Denver and how seriously they take high profile events. 

Wil2
Wil2

@Merv @therednorth1 Imagine if it were the Baltimore Ravens!


Imagine still Ray Lewis were on the team. 


No team, no fans and no coaches have ever acted like everyone was out to "get" them like Baltimore. 

Starstruck
Starstruck

@nortran11 This is a good way to ask for payback ...there will be some pissed 9er fans there. Maybe they will be looking to steal some dope from the dopes.