After trending downward for most of the two-week run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII, prices on the ticket resale market started to inch up Saturday as Sunday's 6:30 kickoff neared.
Experts in the secondary ticket market had anticipated a late flurry of activity as the weather forecast improved and people in the populous, relatively wealthy New York area began to consider last-minute purchases.
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The market is expected to remain volatile throughout the day Sunday. StubHub.com, a major player in ticket resales, will permit purchases until minutes before kickoff, then bus people to the stadium from Secaucus, N.J.
According to TiqIQ.com, which aggregates data from a variety of sites, as of 4 p.m. Saturday the average price per ticket listed was $2,965, down 26 percent since the morning of the conference championship games Jan. 19 but up from a low of $2,472 at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The average price of completed sales was $2,412, after bottoming at $2,046 at 4 p.m. Friday. SeatGeek.com, another secondary market site aggregator, recorded an average sales price of $1,731 Friday.
The lowest -- or "get-in" -- price TiqIQ showed as of 4 p.m. Saturday was $1,875, up from $1,247 a day earlier.
No one was quite sure what to expect on the secondary market given that this is the first Super Bowl in the New York area. Some wrongly predicted it would be the most expensive Super Bowl ticket ever.
Demand was affected by the fact that each participant is from the West, and neither has the kind of big national following that drives up prices -- as happened three years ago when the Steelers and Packers faced off in Texas.
That 2011 game saw prices rise on game day, while two years ago in Indianapolis asking prices plummeted to near or below face value by the time the Giants and Patriots kicked off. Prices fell slightly during the weekend in New Orleans last year for the 49ers-Ravens.
For most of this week, the Seahawks-Broncos game has been on pace to be the least-expensive since 2002, in the near aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That year's game in New Orleans had to be delayed by a week.
Connor Gregoire, a communications analyst for SeatGeek, said the final 48 hours before kickoff usually are the most volatile in the market, with more tickets sold on game day than any other.
Gregoire said the inventory of available tickets had fallen from more than 13,000 last Sunday to fewer than 4,000 at midday Saturday.
More than a third of ticket buyers tracked by SeatGeek from Friday to Saturday were from New York (26 percent) or New Jersey (11 percent), reflecting the fact it is easier for local fans to make last-minute decisions.
Face values for the tickets range from a record high of $2,500 for some premium seats with access to indoor areas to a low of $500 for 1,000 fans who won a lottery but cannot resell their tickets, which will be issued as they enter the stadium.