How to Buy Super Bowl Tickets and Avoid Scams

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Buy Super Bowl TicketsHow to Buy Super Bowl Tickets
A couple years ago, my coworker and I were discussing our bucket lists, you know, the list of things you want to accomplish or see before you die. He mentioned his dad’s biggest wish was to go to the Super Bowl, and we got on the topic of buying Super Bowl tickets. All we knew…

A couple years ago, my coworker and I were discussing our bucket lists, you know, the list of things you want to accomplish or see before you die. He mentioned his dad’s biggest wish was to go to the Super Bowl, and we got on the topic of buying Super Bowl tickets. All we knew about buying Super Bowl tickets was that it is very expensive, and it helps to know someone. So we looked it up for fun. We learned that it is surprisingly easy to buy Super Bowl tickets – if you have the money to buy them on the second hand market! Otherwise, you need to know someone, or have the luck of the Irish!

How to Buy Super Bowl Tickets

Buy Super Bowl Tickets
How to Buy Super Bowl Tickets

The first thing you need to know is how the NFL distributes Super Bowl tickets. The distribution of Super Bowl tickets goes to a mixture of players, coaches and NFL personnel, season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, and the general public. Here is the Super bowl ticket distribution from Super Bowl XLII:

  • AFC Champion — 17.5 percent
  • NFC Champion — 17.5 percent
  • Host Team — 5.0 percent
  • Other 29 Teams — 34.8 percent
  • NFL — 25.2 percent

75% of all tickets go to the NFL teams, with each team in the game receiving a total of 35%, the host team receiving 5%, and the rest of the teams receiving just over 1% each. The tickets allotted to the NFL are used for corporate sponsors, the broadcast network, affiliated companies, charities, fans, and more.

NFL Random Drawing for Super Bowl Tickets

The only method the NFL has to distribute tickets to the public is through a random drawing; there is no other way for the general public to purchase tickets from the NFL. The NFL also does not sell tickets to travel or ticket agents. The lottery system is free to enter and those selected have the opportunity to purchase up to two tickets at face value. Unfortunately, there is a very limited number of available tickets, some sources stating only 500 tickets are sold to the general public in any given year.

Entries for the random drawing are accepted between Feb. 1 and June 1 of the year preceding the game and winners are notified by mail in October or November. All ticket requests must be sent via certified or registered mail.

To enter into the random Super Bowl Ticket drawing, send a letter to:

Super Bowl Random Drawing
P.O. Box 49140
Strongsville, OH 44149-0140

Please note that only one request per address is accepted and duplicate requests will be disregarded.

Buying Super Bowl Tickets from Players and Season Ticket Holders

Most teams give a set number of Super Bowl tickets to their players and personnel, then hold a random drawing for their season ticket holders to distribute the remaining tickets. This can create a secondary market for the tickets. Many of the tickets that end up in the hands of ticket agencies (see below) were purchased from season ticket holders and team personnel. Players and coaches are not permitted to resell their tickets for more than face value, but it happens under the table.

Super Bowl Ticket Trivia: The NFL’s anti-scalping policy was brought to the nation’s attention in 2005 when Vikings head coach Mike Tice was caught scalping his Super Bowl tickets. He was fined $100,000 by the NFL and let go by the Vikings the following season.

Buy from a Ticket Agency

Every major ticket agency will have Super Bowl tickets. Check out RazorGator, TickCo, StubHub, Ticketmaster. These are reputable companies and offer a guarantee, which is something you won’t get if you are buying them over Ebay, Craigslist, or from a ticket scalper. If you are going purchase Super Bowl tickets online, get them from a reputable agency.

How much do Super Bowl Tickets cost? The rate varies depending on several factors, including seat location, hype for the game, who is playing, venue, etc.

Buy from a Scalper

Caution, caution, caution! Before going this route, be sure you know the laws of the land. Scalping is not legal in every state, so you want to ensure you remain on the right side of the law. Additionally, there may be specific laws against scalping within certain cities or even on the premises of the sporting event itself. Next, recognize that you are dealing with people you don’t know and a lot of cash (try finding a scalper who will accept anything other than cash).

Do your research to find out as much as you can about the current street price of the tickets, and be wary of any seats being sold below the current rate. In short, be prepared to shell out some serious cash. You also want to do as much research as you can regarding the actual tickets. Find out what some of the security features are. Ask the scalper to see the tickets. If they don’t have them available at the moment then ask when you can meet up to see the tickets. (This is common because scalpers often work in teams and don’t want to have thousands of dollars worth of tickets on them all the time). You may wish to see several sets of tickets before you are comfortable you are receiving a legitimate ticket. I’ve heard that some venues and teams offer broker zones, so look into this.

Above all, be cautious. Be careful carrying large sums of cash (arrange to meet the ticket scalper at a predetermined time and place if necessary), and remember that with scalpers, all sales are final.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started Cash Money Life in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about military money topics and military and veterans benefits at The Military Wallet.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free account here.

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  1. MoneySmartGuides says

    I knew a bunch of tickets went to the corporate sponsors and teams in the game, but I didn’t realize how few were actually sold to the public!

    Personally, I would much rather watch the game on TV. I’ve been to NFL games before and enjoy them immensely, but the Super Bowl is for the big-screen TV. After all, if you go to the game, you can’t hang out at your co-workers desk on Monday talking about the great (or lack thereof) commercials!

  2. Hannah @ HowMuchIsIt says

    Super Bowl tickets are highly overrated. In Detroit, I was able to get tickets since my Aunt had a connection with Pittsburgh and the team. Don’t get me wrong, but the tickets are OUTRAGEOUS for what you get. If I’m going to spend $5,000 on 2 tickets for 2 hours of entertainment, I think I would rather go to Hawaii for 7 days, haha!

    Anyways, for those that are seriously interested in purchasing tickets, consider checking out a cool site called SeatGeek. This site is awesome and it will spider all of the legit ticket broker sites online and constantly find you the best deal.

  3. peggy says

    Will this random drawing also be in effect for the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey?
    When I look at the web page it tells me this……
    How can I buy tickets for Super Bowl XLVIII?
    The NFL controls all ticketing for Super Bowl XLVIII and demand is expected to be very high. The greatest number of tickets will be made available to the teams participating in the game, as well as sponsors, broadcasters and other business partners. A public sale of Super Bowl XLVIII tickets is not expected at this time.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Peggy – yes, the random drawing has been in place for a long time. So far as I know, there are no plans to remove it at this time. The page should reflect the steps for applying to the random drawing sometime around or soon after this year’s Super Bowl. Best of luck!

  4. Brett @ wstreetstocks says

    Great tips! I never personally purchased scalped tickets, but I have heard bad reviews from friends. The ticket agency is the best route if it is possible. I wasn’t aware of the random drawing though.

  5. Kurtis says

    I was very lucky myself i have won 8 tickets all together with free booze and food. I have 3 friends so far to go with me so i am think of selling the rest of the tickets myself.
    Im going threw all the sites but the wanta percent well jeeze id rather sell the tickets to a hard working guy like myself.
    I like to share well heres a silent auction lol ifanyone reads this i 4 tickets,free food , and booze best part is definitely gunna b awesom

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