Expect to pay big prices to attend this weekend's NFL Conference Championship Games.
The Green Bay Packers will visit the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC Championship. The Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Mass in the AFC title game.
Both games are carrying historic price points into Sunday.
The NFC contest will be the final NFL game at the Georgia Dome and is the most expensive football game in the stadium's history. The Steelers-Patriots contest is tied for the most expensive game in AFC history.
On TicketIQ, a ticket search engine that collects data from over 90% of the secondary market, the average resale price for NFC Championship Game tickets is now $720. That surpasses prices for the 2010 SEC Championship game. The cheapest tickets are currently $297 each. Secondary or resale tickets are those purchased via a broker or other source. They differ from tickets purchased at a primary source such as a venue, team or event.
Chart Courtesy of TicketIQ
Such prices are understandable given the context of Sunday's matchup. It will be the Falcons' first Conference title game since Jan. 20, 2013, when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers at home. That game had an average resale price of just $189. The Falcons are hoping to reach the Super Bowl for only the second time in the franchise's 51-year history. The Falcons feature perhaps the NFL's most high-powered offense behind quarterback Matt Ryan. Green Bay features quarterback Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
The Patriots will play in their sixth straight conference championship game. They lost last year to eventual Super Bowl champion Denver. New England comes off an easy victory at home over the Houston Texans and had the best record in the NFL. The team has appeared in eight Super Bowls, winning four. Pittsburgh clobbered the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago in a wildcard match-up and then went on the road to upset the Kansas City Chiefs. It last won the Super Bowl in 2009 and has won six Super Bowls.
AFC Championship Game tickets at Gillette Stadium are averaging $740. The cheapest tickets to Sunday's matchup in Foxboro are now $325 each.
Flight and hotel prices vary for fans traveling to Atlanta and Foxboro from out of town this weekend. According to Priceline.com, Packers fans will be paying the most for airfare with the cheapest round-trip flight from Green Bay to Atlanta going for $733 and the cheapest 3-star Atlanta hotels listed from $95 each night. Steelers fans can pay $314 round-trip from Pittsburgh to Boston and book an $85-per-night 3-star hotel.
As for Super Bowl LI, which will take place in Houston, ticket prices are steep. Super Bowl LI tickets are currently averaging $8,315, and the cheapest tickets are $4,386 each. While prices typically drop as Super Bowl Sunday approaches, the game is currently posting the highest prices three weeks out of any of the last seven Super Bowls.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor.