The Seattle Seahawks are about to play in front of hometown fans for the first time in 20 months.
With so many fans in need of a football fix, you’d expect that tickets would be long gone for Sunday’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans.
You would be wrong.
As of Thursday afternoon, about 2,000 were available on StubHub, eBay, CheapTickets and even from your neighbors, via Craigslist.
“Not able to go,” says the Craigslist ad from a season ticket holder in Colbert, who offered lower-level seats at the 50-yard line at Lumen Field.
And while the prices are still high – the fan in Colbert wanted $410 for each ticket – they are plentiful. So are the reasons why.
Much has changed – even the name of the stadium – since Dec. 30, 2019.
That’s when the Seahawks closed out the regular season with a home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle made the playoffs anyway, and did so again last year – just the thing to keep the optimism alive through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Or so you would think, especially after the Hawks opened the season last Sunday with a dominating win at Indianapolis.
However, the new season brings a lot of questions besides the usual musings about whether the Hawks’ offensive line will keep quarterback Russell Wilson upright.
The pandemic is still afflicting fans at work and at play. The Seahawks require masks for all attendees at home games and also require all guests age 12 and older to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to kickoff.
No doubt that’s a turnoff for fans who don’t want to get vaccinated. On top of that, cheering at the top of your lungs after a Seahawks touchdown isn’t the same with a piece of cloth covering your mouth.
The biggest question might be: How much of the fun factor will be lost from cheering while wearing a mask.
Prices and availability of single-game Seahawks tickets have always operated on a sliding scale with the same variables: Seattle’s win-loss record, the popularity of the opponent and the weather.
At this point, Sunday’s game checks only one of three boxes. The Seahawks are coming off a big win at Indy, but the Tennessee Titans aren’t exactly a glamour team.
On top of that, the Seattle area is due for heavy rains on Sunday, but when has that ever stopped die-hard fans?
Since the Super Bowl win in 2014, retention rates for Seahawks season tickets have hovered around 98%, which means that people have waited for years to pay thousands of dollars.
Demand has dropped off slightly from the glory years when the Seahawks had a waiting list for tickets to watch fall camp.
But that optimism has been tempered by some short playoff runs of late.
One thing hasn’t changed: the prices. On StubHub, they start at $112 per ticket – not counting fees – for seats in the upper decks. On the other hand, masks can double as a nosebleed tissue.
On eBay, two tickets can be had “on the 48-yard line.” The price is the same – a stellar deal until you notice that the seats are in section 309 and that the 50-yard line might be barely visible through the rain squalls expected on Sunday.
Prices are even higher for the next home date, Oct. 7 against the Los Angeles Rams. That stands to reason since the Rams are a division rival and feature former Eastern Washington star and Yakima native Cooper Kupp.
Perhaps the best deal might be the road game next weekend at Minnesota. If you can snag a cheap flight, tickets are available for $80 apiece, fees included.
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