Given the high profile Peyton Manning-Tom Brady rematch in the AFC championship, it's not surprising that ticket resellers are seeing an opportunity to cash in — fake tickets included.
Denver police and the Broncos on Tuesday warned fans of possible counterfeit tickets moving through secondary markets — generally defined as anything not acquired from the ticket office at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Ticketmaster or NFL Ticket Exchange.
Counterfeit tickets, especially to the biggest home game the Broncos have had in years, will be out there, specifically on sites such as Craigslist. Police say fans try to get in the stadium nearly every game, only to be told their tickets are fake.
The cheapest tickets on NFL Ticket Exchange. which is run by Ticketmaster in conjunction with the NFL, on Tuesday morning were $295 each for seats in the 500 level. Prices topped out at about $3,100 per ticket (seats can be marked up well beyond face value).
The first batch of tickets sold Monday morning was limited to people with a billing address in states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota and Western Kansas. They have since sold out.
StubHub, which is owned by eBay, currently lists about 4,000 tickets available, with prices from $282 — again in the upper deck — to $11,000 for seats in the first row of the 50-yard line on the Broncos side.
Those prices are slightly less than those of the NFC championship game between the 49ers and the Seahawks, which on Monday listed prices for $359. Searches for tickets for the Seahawks game were receiving more searches than the Broncos on StubHub.
"Generally we do see ticket prices go down leading up to the game," said Cameron Papp, a spokesman for StubHub. "The last day or two is usually when we see the lowest prices."
Purchases made through StubHub are protected, Papp said, and if fans are sold counterfeit tickets, the company tries to get them tickets to the game. If that fails, it gives them a refund or a coupon for a future purchase.
"We're there to connect buyers and sellers," Papp said. "Sometimes there are seller errors, where things will happen, but we'll make the issue right no matter what."
Daniel Petty: firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-954-1081, twitter.com/danielpetty