Patriots tickets are always expensive, but as 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady readies the defending Super Bowl champions for the upcoming season, prices are soaring to a new level.
The average — yes, average — price of a ticket to a Pats home game on the resale market right now is $777, according to industry tracker TicketIQ. That's roughly 50% higher than at this time last year and $267 more than the average price to see even the second-most expensive team.
"It's a crazy number," said TicketIQ founder Jesse Lawrence.
Several factors are driving up the price, Lawrence added, including the "scarcity idea" surrounding Brady.
Though the star QB seems to possess the longevity of a Supreme Court justice, even the most ardent fans recognize that opportunities to watch him play, in person, are dwindling. The sound of Brady's ticking clock has grown louder in recent days, amid the listing of his Brookline estate and reports that his recent contract extension includes no guarantees beyond the 2019 season.
Fans eager to see Brady in action at Gillette Stadium, while they still can, are confronted by a harsh reality: There simply aren't many tickets available.
Forget about snagging seats at face value. There is a paid waiting list to join the ranks of Patriots season ticket holders, who claim the vast majority of Gillette's 65,878 seats. In past years, the club has made available a "limited number of individual game tickets," which have sold out "within minutes," according to the team.
This year, however, there has been no such sale — to the chagrin of some fans, who have vented in online forums. A Patriots spokesman did not respond to an inquiry about the percentage of seats allocated to season ticket holders this year.
For most fans, the only option is a secondary marketplace such as StubHub or SeatGeek, where tickets are resold at steep markups. TicketIQ estimates that, for now, there are only about 7,000 resale tickets available for the Patriots' eight regular-season home games, combined. That's fewer than 1,000 tickets per game, on average.
For perspective, there are six times as many available tickets to see the Kansas City Chiefs, the team the Pats beat in last season's AFC Championship.
More Patriots tickets may enter the resale market as the season goes on, but the current supply is so limited that sellers can charge an arm and a leg for the ever-rarer privilege of witnessing Brady's golden arm and surgically repaired leg on the field.