High prices for NFL playoff games causes controversy

CNN
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 11:06am

Both the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have earned the right to play the NFL conference championship games this weekend at home.

But both teams are restricting ticket sales, making it more difficult for fans of the visiting patriots and 49ers to buy them.

For football fans searching for face value tickets for this weekend's NFL playoff games -- the hunt is complicated not by cash but by zip codes.

The Seattle Seahawks set geographic limits on *who* can buy tickets to their games, restricting sales to only the Pacific Northwest 49ers’ fans cried foul.

"It's important to show our support, to show how loud we can be up there as well," said San Francisco resident Derrick Wienke.

Californians will have to resort to secondary markets like Stub-Hub or the NFL ticket exchange, where prices have sky-rocketed into the thousands.

The Seahawks aren't the only ones executing this scheme.

The Denver Broncos restricted AFC championship ticket sales to billing addresses in the rocky mountain region, which means New England patriots fans are pretty upset.

Restricting ticket sales to locals could protect the teams "12th man." of course a reference to the fans, whose big noise rattles the stadium and could rattle the opponent.

The Seahawks say the restriction has nothing to do with overzealous fans... Their statement to CNN says in part "…the reason wasn't to limit residents of California. It was to stop large ticket brokerages from manipulating the onsale purchases through Ticketmaster and inflating the price on the secondary market."

"The bottom line is that these teams are companies, they have obligations to maximize their profit, so whatever went into the decision; it must benefit them in some way," said CNN Legal Analyst Danny Cevallos

The Broncos also released a statement which says in part "after more than 96 percent of our season-ticket holders elected to purchase playoff tickets, we had an extremely limited inventory…. We wanted to ensure our local fans had an opportunity to purchase tickets."

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