Ticket Demand for Panthers @ 49ers

Okay, okay – that’s not fair. When the Panthers and 49ers last met in Week 10, it wasn’t exactly a snoozefest; at least the game was close. But a 10-9 victory for the Panthers? In today’s game? It can be as tough and as gritty as you want, but most NFL quarterbacks – and that definitely includes Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick – can sneeze 300 yard games with two passing touchdowns. There’s no reason a 10-9 game should ever happen.

Is it a nice change of pace? Eh, sure. I guess. But I don’t want it happening again in the playoffs. Close games are fun, but high-scoring close games are – take your pick – funner, the most fun, the funnest. They’re the best. Let’s root for that.

Not surprisingly, at an average ticket price of $277 per ticket, Sunday’s NFC Divisional Game in Charlotte is the Panthers’ most in-demand home game since at least 2009 when we began monitoring the secondary ticket market. It’s also the most in-demand event we’ve ever tracked in Charlotte ahead of Beyonce’s July 27 concert last year at Time Warner Cable Arena, which drew an average ticket price of $248. The Panthers have been around, what, five years? Kidding, kidding. But it stands to reason that they would go nuts for this.

Ticket prices for Sunday’s game are 50% higher than for Carolina’s Monday night home game against the Patriots back on Nov. 18, which had been the most expensive Panthers home game this season at an average ticket price of $185.

Right now, the cheapest pair of tickets available for Sunday’s game are listed at $153 each in the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium — a $92 premium on the least expensive face value offering ($61) at the Panthers box office. It’ll cost almost twice that for middle-level seats, which start at $280 per ticket, and at least $350 per ticket to sit in the lower level. The best seats in the house — front row behind the Panthers bench — have already gone for nearly $1,500 per ticket on the secondary market.

Demand has increased from over the weekend as 49ers fans have begun to buy up tickets to Sunday’s game. More than 30% of the traffic to our event page for the game has come from California this week — more than from any other state. By comparison, North Carolina ticket shoppers have made up 20% of the visits to the page so far this week.

Despite the record demand for a Panthers home game, Carolina-San Francisco is only the third-hottest ticket of the weekend behind the Seahawks-Saints game on Saturday night, which is drawing an average ticket price of $415 per ticket – the highest we’ve ever seen for a Divisional round game – and Broncos-Chargers on Sunday (average ticket price of $355). Tickets for the game in Seattle start at $170 each, and nosebleeds in Denver are going for no less than $150 per ticket.

If the Panthers defeat the 49ers on Sunday and the Saints pull off an upset in Seattle, tickets will be even more expensive for an NFC Championship Game in Charlotte. The least expensive tickets for a potential Panthers-Saints title game are listed at $330 each right now, and the average ticket price is a whopping $501.

Whatever scenario plays out, here’s hoping for great games this weekend.