It’s no secret that popular teams in major sports markets like the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago, Bears, New England Patriots, NY Giants, NY Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers etc., all demand top dollar for tickets regardless of competitiveness. However, ticket price is often dependent upon not just the popularity of the team but also the success. Although any team with strong fan support that is a legitimate Super Bowl contender is likely to have some rather pricey tickets on the secondary market, many ticket speculators often forget that even less popular teams with small fan bases can see major spikes in ticket prices during seasons in which they are contending for a playoff spot.
Below we break down the Top 10 NFL teams in terms of anticipated ticket demand. Obviously, these rankings are largely based on popularity and fan support but preseason outlook is also given considerable weight in our analysis.
2012 NFL Preseason Power Rankings
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers may not be in a large market but they more than make up for that with the passion of their fan base. The Packers may have fallen short in their quest to repeat as Super Bowl Championship but Aaron Rodgers and company should be back in the mix once again.
2. New England Patriots
The Patriots are ranked either #1 or #2 in most preseason rankings and should be in contention for another Super Bowl if Tom Brady can stay healthy. We all know how sports crazy the Boston area is…
3. New York Giants
The Giants are the defending Super Bowl Champs in the largest city in the US…enough said.
4. Denver Broncos
The Broncos surprised a lot of people last year with a less than spectacular Tim Tebow at the helm. The arrival of Peyton Manning has Bronco fans very excited and it is already reflected in tickets prices for 2012-13 games.
5. Chicago Bears
Fans in Chicago are extremely excited to see what Jay Cutler can do with a bonafide #1 WR in Brandon Marshall. With an aging Bears defense this might be do or die time for the franchise.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers always seem to be competitive and always sell out Heinz Field. There is no reason to think that will change this year.
7. Detroit Lions
The Lions made a big return to relevancy last year. Football fans in Detroit love their Lions and they should have plenty to cheer about with a nasty defense and a dynamic offense led by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.
8. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were the sleeper team last year. As such they quickly rebuilt a fan base that left them after the Joe Montana – Steve Young eras after finishing 13-3. The 9ers should be a force again this year with the top defense in the NFC.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
Many expected the Eagles to be a Super Bowl contender last year after lining up a dream team of free agents. However, last year was a complete disaster proving once again you can’t buy a championship. However, the Eagles have too much talent to be held down any longer. Combine that with the ravenous fans in Philly and ticket demand will be considerable.
10. New York Jets
J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets fans always come out and support their team. While they aren’t likely to be in any conversations about the Super Bowl, they should contend for a Wildcard spot. Should QB Mark Sanchez go down and Tim Tebow take over…look out!
Just missed the cut: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints
Sleeper Team: Washington Redskins – If RG3 can be half as effective as Cam Newton was in his rookie campaign, the Redskins could contend for a playoff spot. Skins fans have been itching to get behind this team and a return to relevancy could mean a huge spike in ticket prices.