Ticket prices starting to fall

Updated: January 30, 2004, 2:41 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- On the streets, over the phone and online, Super Bowl ticket prices started dropping early Friday morning.

The price to get into Sunday's game was quoted by many brokers as at least $1,700 per seat in the upper end zone throughout the entire week. But the typical panic has set in, as scalpers and brokers realize that the bulk of out-of-towners who are willing to spend more to pay for a Super Bowl ticket have already made their plans to either go or not to go to this year's game.

That puts the market in the hands of the locals, who can choose to trek to Reliant Stadium if the price is right.

On Friday, upper end-zone seats dropped $200 to $1,450 each at the Ticket Stop, which is located three miles north of the stadium. Two other local dealers had tickets as low as $1,300 apiece.

"We still have a lot of people calling," said Jack Stopnicki, owner of the Ticket Stop. "The locals are obviously going to wait to see what they are going to get at the end, since they can just go in their car and drive to the game."

"I'd expect that brokers will hold the line until midday on Saturday afternoon," said Eric Baker, president of StubHub.com, an online secondary ticket service. "Then it's going to come down to a game of chicken between a prospective buyer and the seller."

Baker predicts the price could drop to as low as $1,100 on Saturday, as he says supply still is outdrawing demand.

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at darren.rovell@espn3.com.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter