Tickets for Sunday night’s Vikings game against the Green Bay Packers are white hot, so the team is warning fans to be careful trying to buy them.
Combine the regular-season debut of the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium with the arrival of the team Vikings fans love to hate and the game climbs to the status of a major event.
As of Tuesday, the average resale value of tickets to Sunday’s game was $447, surpassed only by the resale price of tickets to the 2014 Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Target Field, according to an analyst at seatgeek.com, which tracks Minnesota events.
Because of the high interest, buyers should be especially cautious about counterfeit tickets on the secondary market. The 66,200-seat stadium has been officially sold out for the entire season for weeks.
Only three outlets are authorized resellers of Vikings’ tickets: the team’s ticket office, the NFL Ticket Exchange and Ticketmaster. “Any other source, you’re doing it at your own risk,” team spokesman Jeff Anderson said.
Fans should not purchase the old-school paper tickets that they’ve had in the past. They’re no good. Only digital tickets and printed 8.5-by-11 PDFs are accepted for games at the new stadium.
“If a fan encounters a hard ticket on the street, it’s a counterfeit,” Anderson said.
Although the team generally issues counterfeit ticket warnings for home games against the Packers, prices for this year’s game blow away any Twin Cities football game in years. It’s also the third most expensive ticket across all 32 teams in the 15 remaining regular weeks of NFL football, behind only two New England Patriots home games, according to analysis by Chris Leyden at seatgeek.com.
Tickets are selling for $503 for the Oct. 16 Patriots game against the Cincinnati Bengals when Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady returns from his suspension for deflated balls. Tickets for the Patriots’ rematch of 2015 Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks are selling for an average of $475.
Even the season-ending knee injury to the popular young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in late August didn’t dent ticket popularity or prices, Leyden said.
For fans still hoping to get in to the Vikings’ game Sunday, sit tight. Prices invariably drop as the game approaches and sellers get anxious. They’ve been sloping downward for the past few days, Leyden said. A week ago, tickets for the Packers game sold for $522.
Leyden noted that about 10 percent of the resale ticketbuyers are in Wisconsin.
But buyer beware on the streets near U.S. Bank Stadium. It’s illegal to resell tickets on stadium property and scalpers hang out on the fringes.
“If you do buy, you should ask the seller to walk you to the gate and make sure you get in,” Anderson said, adding that legitimate sellers won’t have a problem doing so. He also suggested taking a picture of the seller with identification.
Buyers should also take time to scrutinize the ticket, check the seat assignment and price on the team’s mobile app. If a seller refuses to help, don’t buy.
Fans purchasing online beyond the authorized websites need to be careful as well. Look for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online seal and don’t get lured away from the website even if a seller is an acquaintance. Look for established sellers and pay only with a credit card or PayPal, which provide some protection.
Counterfeit ticket holders may be investigated, arrested and charged. Fans inside the stadium with fraudulent tickets also could be arrested.
The fans who don’t want to pay Packers-level game prices should take heart by remembering that this is the first game at the new stadium, not the last. Tickets for upcoming games will be cheaper.
The second most expensive resale ticket now is the Dec. 1 game when the Dallas Cowboys come to town. Those tickets have an average resale price of $250. The only Vikings game in recent years that came close in price was the 2010 match with the Packers. The average resale price for that game was $198.
Maybe that Detroit game on Nov. 6 will be a bargain. Or there’s always next year.