Arlington

$700 a seat: Demand for Cowboys playoff tickets reaches ‘insane’ level

Fans lined up to buy Dallas Cowboys playoff tickets at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 28. Since then, prices for playoff tickets have soared on secondary websites.
Fans lined up to buy Dallas Cowboys playoff tickets at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 28. Since then, prices for playoff tickets have soared on secondary websites. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

Any fan fortunate enough to have secured Dallas Cowboys divisional round playoff tickets at face value might face a tough decision: Either go to the game, or stay home and watch it on a new top-of-the-line big screen purchased with the profits from selling those sought-after seats.

The Cowboys will face either the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers or New York Giants in a divisional round playoff game Jan. 15 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. It will be only the third playoff game on Dallas’ home field since the franchise moved into the stadium in 2009.

And fans are revved up, so much so that demand for tickets on the secondary market has reached “insane” levels, according to Jesse Lawrence, founder and CEO of TicketIQ.

According to the New York-based TicketIQ, the cheapest ticket for the game is $245, with standing-room-only party passes starting at $137 (fans who waited in line on Dec. 28 to buy party passes paid $40 per ticket).

Lawrence said it is the “most expensive divisional [round game] we’ve ever tracked by about $200.”

TicketIQ measures prices on 90 percent of resale websites nationwide, including the NFL Ticket Exchange. For the Cowboys, NFL Ticket Exchange makes up 40 percent of the market.

TicketIQ data shows the Cowboys’ game is the third-most expensive NFL playoff game the company has tracked in seven years and the most expensive divisional game it has ever tracked.

The average asking price of nearly $700 for a ticket to the game represents about a 62.5 percent hike from tickets to regular-season Cowboys games.

The Cowboys, led by rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, finished the regular season at 13-3 and as the top seed in the NFC.

“Cowboys fans expect to win, and this team has the best chance at a long run of any team since Moose [Daryl Johnston] was blocking for Emmitt [Smith],” Lawrence said. “Add to that the Dak and Zeke show, the fact they are Vegas favorites to reach the Super Bowl, and you have a recipe for historically high prices.”

Cowboys fans have been ponying up big bucks all season for tickets and merchandise, while the team has been a major hit on TV during an otherwise league-wide ratings swoon.

Average ticket prices for the Jan. 15 divisional round game in AT&T Stadium have soared above $675 each, including seats in the 400 level, the stadium’s highest seating.

If that’s not insane enough, asking prices on TicketIQ include $29,290 for a suite in section 411; $11,715 each for seats in section 320 and 118; and just below $10,000 each for a numerous selection of seats.

According to TicketIQ, the three cities driving the most traffic for the game are Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The highest-trafficked non-Texas city is New York (just 2 percent of visits), which makes sense considering a Giants win over the Packers, combined with a Lions loss at Seattle in this weekend’s NFC wild-card games would send the Giants to Dallas.

New York is followed by Nashville, Phoenix, San Jose, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

As of Wednesday afternoon, StubHub showed more than 12,000 tickets available at prices ranging from $121 to more than $2,000 each. SeatGeek has tickets for sale for more than $1,200 each. At Vivid Seats, the median price for Dallas’ divisional game is $593, according to company spokesperson Adam Clemence, who noted the game is on track to compete with or beat most conference championship games,

TicketIQ identified the most expensive Cowboys home games since 2010, and four, including the upcoming playoff game, have come this season.

The top five are: The Jan. 15 playoff game (average ticket price of $694); Dec. 26, 2016, against Detroit ($650); Dec. 16, 2012, against Pittsburgh ($591); Nov. 24, 2016, against Washington ($498); and Oct. 30, 2016, against the Eagles ($497).

The Cowboys’ 2016 season average ticket price was $427, the highest since 2010.

Jeff Caplan: 817-390-7705, @Jeff_Caplan

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