DENVER — Playoff expectations are back in Broncos Country, but those high hopes come with an added cost.
Broncos tickets increased 61% on secondary ticket markets compared to last year and rank as the sixth-most expensive in the National Football League, according to online ticket website TickPick.
And yet, there are still ways for fans to find seats without breaking the bank, even with the added fees from ticket brokers.
Broncos fans share tried and true methods
Superfan “Bronco Merry” is an expert on getting her hands on seats, despite not being a season-ticket holder.
“I got to pay face value for every single ticket,” she said.
Bronco Merry’s biggest tip is to never miss the half-price ticket day where the team offers discounted seats online.
“I logged on early, got in line, opened up four browsers and each ticket averages about $75 apiece, which, that’s not bad for row two,” she said. “You can’t beat that anywhere.”
She also suggests signing up for fan clubs such as the Denver Broncos Quarterback Club. Some of these clubs have fees, but Merry says that fee pays off.
“They’re given seats for the whole season by the Denver Broncos,” she said. “As a member, you get first dibs.”
Brody Rios, a local ticket broker for 303Tickets.com, says the best course of action is to wait until the week before the game to buy tickets or just an hour or two before the game starts.
Frustrated with fees
Rios says that ticket prices have never been higher, and that means brokers are charging higher fees.
Ultimately, the location of the seat determines the fee. Based on a search conducted by Denver7, two resale tickets in the upper section of Empower Field for the Nov. 20 game at Mile High vs. the Raiders will cost $330 plus $65.65 in fees on Ticketmaster’s website.
Two tickets on the 50-yard line for the same game will cost $2,200 for the seats and $464.95 in service and processing fees.
Krista Brown, who works for the American Economic Liberties Project, a nonprofit that advocates for corporate accountability, likened the fees to extortion. She added that Ticketmaster, the largest ticketing service, is the top culprit.
Brown points the blame for the high fees to a merger 10 years ago between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Ticketmaster is the official ticket marketplace of the NFL and the Broncos.
“It comes down to them being a monopoly. They can get away with making people feel robbed,” Brown said. “This company is just too big and powerful. They’re on a trajectory to have their highest earnings.”
Lawmakers are also raising concerns. U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-NY, and Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, sent a letter to the Department of Justice in March, calling out “skyrocketing ticket prices” and “exorbitant fees.”
They’re now asking the DOJ to “investigate the state of competition in the live entertainment and ticketing markets,” and the merger with Live Nation.
Ticketmaster responded in an official statement saying “event organizers decide how they want their tickets sold, and Ticketmaster helps execute.”
The company also states that “the service fee varies by event based on our agreement with each individual client.”
Those clients are not just sports teams, but also groups like concert promoters and theaters. The order processing fee helps offset the cost of ticket handling, shipping and support. See Ticketmaster’s full statement here.
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