MINNEAPOLIS-On the eve of Sunday's NFC championship game that could send the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl for the first time in 41 years - in their own back yard, no less - the local demand for Super Bowl tickets is already sky high, brokers and sellers say.
But a Vikings victory over the Eagles on Sundayl, Jan. 21, in Philadelphia could put resale prices at near-record levels, brokers say, as fans would clamor for the possibility of seeing their beloved hometown team capture its first Super Bowl win.
"Let's just say that if the Vikings win, there will be a lot of bass fishing boats for sale next week in Minnesota," one ticket broker told Yahoo Sports NFL columnist Charles Robinson this week.
On the flip side, a Vikings loss could cause falling ticket prices for the Feb. 4 game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, brokers and sellers say.
On the secondary market, StubHub, an online ticket exchange company, said Friday that demand for Super Bowl LII seats - based on sales so far - is up nearly 30 percent compared with last year's game in Houston. The average ticket price is $5,550, while the "get-in price" is $4,400 for an upper-corner seat.
The most expensive ticket sold on StubHub was $17,500 for the posh Delta Sky360 Club.
Many other frugal fans are in wait-and-see mode, said Michael Nowakowski, president of Ticket King, which has an office about five blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium.
"The people that want to go the Super Bowl, regardless of the team, have bought or are in the process of buying," he said Friday. "And the people that just want to go if the Vikings are going are just kind of waiting until the outcome of the Sunday game."
Nevertheless, Ticket King has sold "hundreds" of tickets, most of which came from corporate sponsors from other NFL teams, he said.
On Friday, Ticket King prices for an upper-level end zone seat hovered around $4,500. Lower-level seats started at $5,500 and ballooned to $14,000 for those between the 30- and 50-yard lines. Vivid Seats, another online ticket marketplace, said its median ticket price to get into the game is $6,054.75.
The market is fluid, he said, adding that prices will change based on which two teams win Sunday.
While prices would go up for a Vikings appearance, Nowakowski said, "If for some reason the Jaguars and Eagles make it, my gut tells me the prices will drop."
In the AFC title game Sunday, the small-market Jacksonville Jaguars will be vying for their first Super Bowl appearance against the New England Patriots - a team that plays in a huge market and has a large national following along with five Super Bowl titles, including a comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons last year.
Speaking of Atlanta, the Jan. 8 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship could give a glimpse of what a home fan base might do for the Super Bowl, said Cameron Papp, StubHub communications manager.
When the Georgia Bulldogs advanced to the title game in Atlanta against Alabama, "we saw Georgia-area fans flood the market, because it was essentially a local game," he said. "And it was one of our higher-selling college football championship games ever. So, that's exactly the same we would envision happening if the Vikings would be able to pull it off this weekend."
No team has ever played in the Super Bowl on its home field.
"So the people in Minneapolis or St. Paul or the Dakotas or anywhere in this area won't have to pay the money to travel," Nowakowski said. "They can just use that money toward paying for tickets to the game."
The Vikings' thrilling 29-24 win over the New Orleans Saints in their NFC divisional playoff game Sunday could also play a factor.
"That got people hyped," he said. "Now a lot fans feel like it's a destiny situation. The way they won ... they're like, 'Wait a minute, I'm going to pay whatever it takes to go. This is the year.' "
Take the lifelong Vikings fan, for example, who bought two upper-level tickets at $5,000 a pop from Ticket King this week. He took out a home-equity loan to pay for them.
"He explained that the Super Bowl was already on his bucket list," Nowakowski said. "And when he saw the way the Vikings won the game the way they did, he had to do it."
Nowakowski said he expects to hear similar stories Monday morning - if the Vikings win.
"Maybe they'll be selling their cabins," he said.
Of course, a select few season-ticket holders won't have to rely on the secondary market.
If the Vikings win Sunday, season-ticket holders will find out Monday morning if they are lucky enough to score Super Bowl tickets. The Vikings have brought in a third party to conduct a random computerized drawing for tickets.
The NFL will allocate 20 percent of all tickets to each participating team. The face value of upper-level Super Bowl tickets starts at $950, and the vast majority available would be at that price.