Who wants to go to Pittsburgh on “the cheap”?

January 16, 2009 | Nestor Aparicio

It’s been one of the wackiest weeks of my sports life to say the least. This has been the most improbable, unexpected turn of events I can ever remember in sports. Other than the 1989 Orioles (a team that never even played a playoff game), this 2008-09 Ravens team will go down in the annals of local fandom as one of the greatest ever, no matter how this plays out on Sunday.

(That said, I think the Ravens are going to win on Sunday. I really do!)

Every person I know here in Baltimore thinks that they’re going to the game in Tampa. And I’ve seen $200 tickets sitting online for this Sunday’s game for 24 hours and no one from Baltimore is buying the tickets. I’m absolutely shocked, to be honest with you that the prices have dropped but even more shocked that there aren’t a line of a thousand buyers at $200 per ticket.

Pittsburgh tickets
As a matter of fact, I’m stuck with a handful of tickets (and I’ve taken calls from a few others who have far more than I have) for the game and no one wants to buy them here in Baltimore. And these must be the same people who think they’re going to get $200 Super Bowl tickets in Tampa. I just got off a plane from Tampa. Ain’t NOTHING in Tampa that’s going to be cheap. (And the weather stunk as well. It was in the 30s this morning and the local Floridians were running for cover and bellyaching all day!)

I just can’t believe that more Ravens fans aren’t willing to go to Pittsburgh when the tickets are as cheap as $200. The face value on the tickets is $110. (And feel free to send whatever nastygram you’d like to that comment, especially in this wretched economy! Believe me, I totally understand the money crunch but I thought a few thousand people in town would be ready to drive four hours to see the biggest football game of this generation.) But a $200 “get in” ticket for the AFC Championship is the cheapest game ticket in years! And this is supposed to be a “Main Event” kinda game? A “once in a lifetime” kinda a game.

Are you really more jazzed about beating the Eagles or the Cardinals in a sleepy stadium full of corporate schlubs wearing suits and relatively “indifferent” to the outcome of the game? That’s really what the Super Bowl is. It’s the weirdest event of them all to attend because it’s the only game of its significance I can think of ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET where most of the people in the stadium have no vested interest in the outcome. It’s changed a little bit over the past few years – the Indianapolis-Chicago game was pretty packed with “real” Colts and Bears fans but that’s about it. That was the last time I went to the game and it was a day that cost me $1700 (face value) and I didn’t really have any fun.

If you are skipping this weekend’s $200 to “go to Tampa” you need to know the reality of getting a ticket to the game will – unless you’re lucky and win the PSL lottery, which will cost you $1000 per ticket – cost you at least $1750 a ticket. And that’s if the Cardinals get in. If the Eagles and the Ravens play, the Eagles fans will drive the street price of tickets to well above $2500 per ticket. And the Eagles fans will own the stadium because our fans will be priced out. It’s a GUARANTEE! Just like what happened in 2001 when the Giants fans FAR outnumbered the Ravens fans in the stadium. Our fans – about 3,000 of them – stayed behind at the residue of WNST’s party at Whiskey Joe’s and watched the game together. They saved more than $3,000 per person and apparently had more fun than I did sitting next to two kids who didn’t even want to be at the game. They were there because their father dragged them to the game and were more interested in Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake than they were in the game. THAT was my Super Bowl Day experience from Jan. 28, 2001.

So, think hard about attending this Sunday’s game now that the prices have dropped and seats can be had for as “little” as $200 or $250. It’s a BARGAIN and a FAR better “memory” than you’ll have for your $2000 per ticket in two weeks. And the atmosphere in Heinz Field is always nothing short of electric at kickoff.

I’m just writing what I’m thinking. And I’ll have more to say about this later and about my crazy 14-hour trip to Tampa to scout for potential Super Bowl Purple Pep Rally locations.

But I can’t believe people are turning up their noses at $200 AFC Championship Game tickets in Pittsburgh, when it’s a $50 and two tanks of gas and four hours away. And I know the economy sucks. But this is WORTH $200. The Super Bowl – no matter what you pay – is going to wind up disappointing you a little bit if you’re a “rabid” sports fan.

Again, I’ve obtained some tickets from a local source who is stuck with them and “overspeculated.” If you’re interested in going to the game, drop me a line and I can put you in touch with some tickets.

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