NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The National Football League's season starts Thursday. As per tradition, the first game of the season will feature the Super Bowl winner from the season before, this time the Seattle Seahawks. They host the Green Bay Packers, one of the few teams in the NFC experts believe can steal the conference crown from Seattle.
The game has garnered plenty of excitement, with ticket prices way up from the opening game of last season.
Seahawks tickets for the Thursday night game in Seattle are currently averaging $413.19 on the secondary market. That number makes it one of the most expensive games of the season. Even more impressive is how much more expensive the game is from last year’s opener. Last season the Baltimore Ravens started their title defense against the Denver Broncos. Broncos tickets for that game averaged just $311.78 for the game with a $103 get-in price.
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There wasn’t a lack of star power last season. The Denver Broncos were coming off a year when they were the AFC’s top seed, and were about to start a season where they not only earned the top seed again, but also set all kinds of NFL offensive records. Peyton Manning had arguably the best season of his career in what might have been the most talented offense he’s played in. While the Ravens finished 8-8, it was tough to expect them to be bad at the start of the year. They were coming off a championship, and had all kinds of talent on both sides of the ball. It was also a rematch of the overtime game the two played in the second round of the playoffs.
But there is one big difference between last year’s game and this year’s game. The previous Super Bowl winner has been the home team ever since the tradition started, but last year the Ravens were the away team. The Baltimore Orioles schedule had a home game set that night and Major League Baseball refused to move the game time. With inevitable parking problems the NFL decided to move the game to Denver. The opening game is usually a big draw for fans to see the team’s new banner and other festivities. With the game in Denver, there wasn’t that same draw.
For the past two seasons, home games on the Seahawks schedule have been among the most expensive in the NFL on the secondary market. The home average at CenturyLink Field this season is the highest in the league, making it only natural for the opening game to have a premium average price.
The Seahawks and Packers should put on quite a show on Thursday. The teams look like the best the NFC has to offer this year, and the prices of Seahawks vs Packers tickets reflect it.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.