WHITTIER, Calif. – He is a Los Angeles Rams superfan who goes by “Ramses,” saying he likes to remain anonymous to fans.
Ramses dresses in a full team uniform replete with shoulder pads. But instead of a helmet, he wears a skull mask with yellow ram’s horns.
What You Need To Know
- The NFL has almost doubled face-value ticket prices from two years ago
- Of all tickets, 35% are allocated to all NFL teams and their players and coaches
- Approximately 25% are reserved for NFL sponsors
- Roughly 5% are sold directly to the public at face value
During the regular season, when the Rams are playing at SoFi Stadium, he cheers for the home team and pumps up the crowd from his seat in the stands.
But when the Rams are on the road, Ramses pulls for his favorite team from a makeshift stadium in his Whittier home. He still dresses in his costume but sits in a large recliner in front of a flat-screen TV. Behind him is a large, scenic backdrop painted with a large stadium.
“I do this for every home game,” he said. “If I can somehow find a way to help out from home, why not? I’ll always make the effort. ”
But this may be the way Ramses will have to watch the Super Bowl. Like all season ticket holders, he was included in a lottery for the chance to buy tickets for the big game at face value. He found out his fate in an email sent to him from the Rams’ front office.
Ramses read the email out loud from his smart phone: “Dear Ramses… we regret to inform you that you were not randomly selected for the opportunity to purchase Super Bowl tickets at face value.”
Ramses let out a big sigh. Then he bowed his head and went silent. When he lifted his head, he had tears in his eyes.
In real life, the man behind the mask is a health care worker and father of twins. He said he could barely afford his single $ 1,200 season ticket, let alone a Super Bowl ticket on the open market, inflated over face value. Ramses is discouraged, he explained that loyal, middle-income fans like him can’t afford to go to the Super Bowl.
“You make the sacrifice to buy season tickets (with) extra shifts, extra hours at work… (But) with Super Bowl tickets, you’re talking about five, six, seven times season ticket prices. A lot of us, we’ve been priced out. What are we going to do, dip into our children’s college funds? ” he said. “They should not have let the prices go so high.”
And, this year, Super Bowl tickets are at an all-time high.
“These are historic prices that I’ve never seen before,” said Eddie Espinosa of “Eddie’s Tickets” in Studio City.
Espinosa has been buying and selling event tickets for over 20 years.
“It’s historic because the NFL’s doubled their prices in the last two years, just the face value alone,” he said.
According to Espinosa, this year, the NFL offered 14 different price points for Super Bowl tickets, ranging from $ 950 to $ 6,200. Espinosa noted that, except for the lowest price point, the NFL nearly doubled the face value on the rest of the tickets from what they were two years ago.
And Espinosa added that very few fans get a chance to buy tickets at those inflated face values to begin with. He broke it down:
To begin with, excluding the two Super Bowl teams, each NFL team gets about 1.2% of the tickets. Multiply that by 29 teams, and that accounts for 35% of all the seats at SoFi Stadium for this year’s Super Bowl.
With the 1.2% allotted to each team, every player, as well as everyone on each team’s coaching staff, gets two free tickets. Then, players have the opportunity to buy 13 more at face value.
Next, the host stadium’s team gets about 10% of the overall allotment.
“Which, this year, the Rams and the Chargers have to split that,” said Espinosa, as those two teams share the SoFi Stadium during the regular season.
Then, each competing team (in this case, the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals) gets approximately 12.5% - or a quarter – of all tickets. Presumably, this is the batch of tickets that was included in the lottery that Ramses lost.
But Espinosa noted how the host teams usually take care of corporate partners and stakeholders before they release tickets to season ticket holders.
“The rest (of the tickets) go to the NFL’s corporate sponsors and everyone the NFL has to take care of,” he said.
Espinosa also added that some NFL sponsors offer contests or “sweepstakes” for fans to get tickets. That leaves only 5% of the pie for direct sale to fans at, again, historically high face values.
Some tickets trickle down into the secondary market, where people like Espinosa and ticketing websites broker them. Then, it’s academic. The immutable law of supply and demand takes over. That is why prices soar, Espinosa explained.
“There’s a finite number of tickets, and the demand is huge,” he said.
But, even for a seasoned ticket broker, these prices are too high. Espinosa has been to two Super Bowls. But when asked if he will go to this one, he said flatly, “No. Not at these prices. ”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Just two days before the big game, Ramses successfully raised enough money on his GoFundMe page to purchase a single ticket for Super Bowl LVI. The superfan told Spectrum News that he will be seated “somewhere up in the nosebleeds” (in the highest sections of SoFi Stadium), but he is grateful just to be in the building. (Feb. 11, 2022)