When the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship this Sunday, Sports Authority Field at Mile High may exhibit a home-field advantage even greater than normal.
The franchise took steps to discourage fans from the northeast, and those living outside markets rooting for the Broncos, from acquiring seats. As the Denver Post reports, “Tickets will only be sold to those with a billing address in the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, western Kansas and Wyoming.”
Crowd noise, weird weather, and altitude already make Denver a tough place for visitors to escape with a win. The restrictions on ticket sales add to this difficulty for this weekend’s road team.
Beyond the ticket source discouraging sales to non-Broncos fans, the secondary market presents added difficulties for travelers looking to root on the defending Super Bowl champions. Average admission prices on the secondary market run about $170 more for Broncos-Patriots than for the Panthers-Cardinals game in Charlotte. The Manning-Brady Bowl always makes for a hot ticket. But given the possibility that this Sunday’s game may be the last such contest, the tickets run even hotter.
Priceline.com and TiqIQ note an average ticket price for the contest of $846.83. The cheapest tickets on the secondary market currently go for $354. They estimate round-trip airfare from Boston to Denver and back running between $364-$1,202 and note that three- and four-star hotels go for between $79 and $359 a night near the stadium.
But it’s free on the television in your man cave, and if you live in the northeast corner of the country the Denver Broncos want you to watch from the warmth of your couch.