49ers fans' wallets sacked after prices soar online for playoff seats 

A limited number of tickets made available to the general public for the 49ers’ first playoff game in a decade sold out nearly instantly Tuesday morning, leaving fans to scour resale websites where asking prices for seats reached nearly $5,000.

Click on the photo at right to see StubHub asking prices for various seats in Candlestick Park.

Tickets to the 49ers’ divisional playoff game Jan. 14 had already been made available to the team’s season-ticket holders, resulting in just a handful of remaining seats for the general-public sale, which started at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Ticketmaster’s website and phone services.

The mad rush for the tickets left scores of hopeful fans aimlessly clicking away on their computers or stuck on hold.

“I sat and refreshed my computer constantly, starting five minutes before the tickets went on sale,” said Tara Willet, a lifelong 49ers fan from the Central Valley town of Galt. “But 30 seconds after 10, the tickets were all sold out. I never even had a chance.”

Fans who missed out on tickets Tuesday morning were directed to a ticket-exchange site run by Ticketmaster and the NFL, but prices for those seats were much costlier than the Niners’ original sale prices, which ranged from $94 to $395.

“The cheapest ticket was $200,” Willet said. “I’ve got three kids, and unfortunately it came down to buying 49ers seats or diapers. I had to go with diapers.”

While several fans reported the tickets being gone within seconds, 49ers spokesman Steve Weakland said the team didn’t register a sellout until 10:30. He did not say how many general public tickets were available, as the team does not release information on the number of its season-ticket holders.

Joellen Ferrer, a StubHub spokeswoman, said 49ers tickets were the most commonly searched item on the resale website Tuesday. Although the highest listed asking price for a ticket was nearly $5,000 — for a seat located in the lower eastern section of the stadium — the most expensive seat purchased so far was $2,500, Ferrer said Tuesday afternoon. The cheapest ticket on StubHub was listed at $175.

“The 49ers’ previous playoff drought is really driving up ticket prices,” Ferrer said. “I call it the starvation factor — it’s been so long since these fans have experienced success.”

This is the team’s first home playoff contest since Jan. 5, 2002.

Some overeager fans showed up at the team’s box office at Candlestick Park on Tuesday morning hoping to buy tickets,  only to be told that none were being sold at the location.

Despite finding it hard to score tickets, fans remained supportive and positive about the team’s postseason chances.

“It’s a bummer I can’t catch the game at Candlestick, but I’ll still be having a great time watching them play on TV,” Willet said. “With our defense, I really like our chances.”

 

What are the odds?

A Super Bowl win for the 49ers will not only bring relief to long-suffering fans, it also could be a nice payday for anyone putting money on the team’s chances.

Despite boasting the league’s second-best scoring defense, the team enters the playoffs with 11-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, according to several Las Vegas-affiliated websites. A $100 wager on the team would result in a $1,100 payoff.

The defending champion Green Bay Packers are the prohibitive favorite to repeat, given 9-5 odds. The Cincinnati Bengals were listed as the longest shot to capture the title, with 70-1 odds.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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