Broncos season-ticket holders are in a conundrum, caught between cheers and their wallets.
They cheer when the Broncos reach the playoffs, but then the team raises ticket prices.
They are disappointed when the Broncos don’t reach the playoffs but then the team puts a freeze on ticket prices.
For now, Bronco fans do have consolation from their team’s 9-7 season. For the first time since going into the 2011 season, the Broncos are not raising prices on their tickets for the upcoming 2017 season.
It’s no coincidence that also for the first time in six years, the Broncos failed to qualify for the postseason.
“We’ve had variable ticket increases the last several years and it was time to freeze ticket prices,'' said Broncos president Joe Ellis. "Our fans have been tremendously supportive and loyal. When you talk about a sellout streak that's nearly 50 years and 400 games long, you realize how fortunate we've been as an organization.
"They have been to seven home playoff games the previous six years and they supported us through thick and thin this year, especially that last game. They showed up 74,000 strong for the last game of the year, a game that didn’t mean anything in terms of standings and they showed tremendous support and our players responded. We ask a lot of our fans and we wanted to help them out a little bit in the wallet.’’
So what is a Broncos’ season-ticket holder to root for? Put it this way: The idea is for the Broncos to consider hiking ticket prices next year. That would mean a regular season that doesn't end until sometime in the postseason.
It’s not like the Broncos had to show compassion to their fans in a non-playoff circumstance. On the secondary market, which is perhaps the most accurate measure of ticket demand, Bronco tickets ranked third in the NFL at $454 a ticket, according to an August, 2016 Washington Post article. Only Seattle ($466) and New England ($461) generated greater demand on the secondary market.
And the 8-8 Baltimore Ravens didn’t make the playoffs this season and they just announced a ticket increase of between 4.7 percent and 10.3 percent (albeit their first ticket hike in four years).
The average price of a Broncos’ general-admission ticket (not including premium and luxury suite seating) stays at a little more than $101 which will drop them outside the NFL’s top 10.
The average NFL ticket last year was around $92. Among the average ticket prices in 2016 that were well above the Broncos’ $101 average: New England, $126; San Francisco, $117; Washington, $115; New York Giants and Jets, $112; Los Angeles Rams, $109; and Chicago, $108.