LA Rams Ticket Experiment – Update

ImageWith the NFL season underway, I wanted to give you a quick update on how my season ticket experiment went.  To give a quick recap, back in June I spent 1,440 on 4 Rams season tickets. The goal was for my girlfriend and me to use 2 of the tickets and go to the 7 regular season home games, while selling the other 2 tickets to make a profit large enough to cover our own 2 tickets.

I was able to sell all of the tickets on Ticketmaster/Stubhub pretty easily, and I made back enough money to cover my girlfriend’s and my tickets. We will only be able to go to 4 games, so that helped since we sold more tickets than we planned. Check out the breakdown of purchase price vs sales price below.

 

Opponent Ticket 1 Ticket 2 Ticket 3 Ticket 4 Total
Preseason Cowboys 60 60  57  57 234
Preseason Chiefs  20  20  20  20 80
Week 2 Seahawks N/A N/A  40  40 80
Week 5 Bills N/A N/A 50 50 100
Week 9 Panthers N/A N/A  77  77 154
Week 11 Dolphins N/A N/A  40  40 80
Week 14 Falcons  55  55  55  55 220
Week 16 49ers 70 70 70 70 280
Week 17 Cardinals  59  59  59  59 236
Total Sales Price         1464
  Total Purchase Price         1440
  Total Gain/(Loss)         +24

 

 

Even though we did breakeven, we could have actually made a lot more money. A couple of games we sold to family/friends for face value, or for a discount based on what comparable tickets on Ticketmaster/Stubhub were going for. Had we just listed these on the exchanges, instead of selling to family/friends, I think we could have made an additional $300 or so.

 

If you want to try something similar and want to maximize profits, here are some things that I noticed that helped me this year.

  • Know the market. In our situation, LA is all about doing the new/hip thing. So since this is the
    Rams’ first season back in LA, I knew there would be relatively high demand for tickets. Further, since LA is a transplant town, and so many people carry allegiances to their home NFL teams with them when they move here, I figured that these “away” fans would be willing to buy tickets when their home town team comes to play.

 

  • Know the team. Even though LA is all about what’s new, it’s also a huge front-runner city. LA loves its winners, but pretty much ignores teams that don’t do well. In terms of NFL talent, the Rams are closer to being in the bottom 25% of the league, than the top 25%. I knew that if they started losing games, the demand for tickets would drop significantly. So knowing that, I needed to sell my tickets as quickly as possible, preferably before the season started. If the Rams were a better team, and the demand for tickets might increase throughout the season, then I probably could have priced them higher and waited for the demand to catch up.

 

  • Buy the cheapest season tickets possible. For us, the tickets averaged out to around $40 a game. That’s really cheap for an NFL game, so if we were selling them for $60, we were priced at the lowest level on the exchanges, but were still going to make a profit if they sold. I have colleagues who bought more expensive tickets, ranging between $80-150 a pop, and they are having trouble getting them sold.

 

  • List them a dollar or two below everyone else in your section. Since you bought the cheapest tickets in step 3, if you list them for a dollar or two below everyone else in your section, you’ll probably be the cheapest tickets in the stadium. People like cheap, so people will buy your tickets before anyone else’s. That will help move inventory pretty quickly, and can help get the tickets sold before the season. In our case, I had everything sold before the season started. So when the Rams lost the first game to the 49ers, and looked pretty ugly doing it, I wasn’t affected by the 30%-40% drop in ticket prices on the exchanges.

 

  • Don’t tell people you have extra tickets. Like I said, we could have made a few hundred more dollars if we weren’t selling to family/friends. We don’t mind eating that cost, since we’re not paying any more for the tickets, and we’d rather go to games with people we love. However, if you’re not in it for the warm and fuzzies, and just want to maximize your profits, then don’t tell people you have extra tickets.

 

I’m not sure that I’ll buy season tickets again next year, since I think there was a unique opportunity with this being the Rams first season back in LA. If the team raises ticket prices, and in turn doesn’t do well, then I think it would be pretty difficult to turn a profit like we did this year. I’ll evaluate my options next year to see if it makes sense. For now though, I’m happy to go to the Rams games, knowing that the tickets aren’t costing me a dime!

 

 

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