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Old 01-14-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Good tickets still out there for Steeler-Ravens

Good tickets still out there for Steeler-Ravens
By Rick Wills
Friday, January 14, 2011

Steven Menke follows the Steelers and goes to a game once in a blue moon.

"I go, maybe, every other year," said Menke, 40, of Wexford. "Not that often, because I usually have the impression that it's hard to get tickets, and they are never cheap."

Some fans, including Menke, were stunned to learn thousands of tickets to Saturday's playoff game with the Baltimore Ravens are still available, albeit through the secondary market.

The Steelers sold the final tickets, ranging from $95 to $290, on Jan. 5, a ticket representative said. That included 1,300 extra bleacher seats at the south end from the NHL Winter Classic, bringing capacity to 66,000 this weekend.

Razorgator.com, one popular resale website, publicized more than 2,500 tickets for as low as $135, or $40 more than the lowest face-value price. StubHub.com, a subsidiary of eBay, had more than 800 tickets for as little as $131.

"We saw a huge spike in sales once it was known the Steelers were playing against the Ravens," said Joellen Ferrer, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based StubHub.

Ferrer added that more tickets are available for this weekend's other playoff games. StubHub has more than 2,000 tickets each for games between the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers versus the Atlanta Falcons, she said.

"Maybe no one has money after Christmas," said Debbie Meyer, owner of Buon Giorno Cafe on the North Side. "But I'm sure most of my customers would be shocked to know you could get Steelers tickets at a reasonable place."

Winter weather could be a factor when the market is flooded with reasonably priced tickets, Ferre said.

"Cold weather and lots of snow can be a factor that gets people to sell tickets," she said.

Steven Greenberg, a sports marketing expert at Duquesne University, said weather is definitely a factor this weekend.

"There are some people who have had Steelers season tickets since 1970," he said. "Does an older fan want to sit in 22-degree weather and watch a game when they could watch on a widescreen TV at home when football is the best TV sport?"

AccuWeather.com forecasts tomorrow to be cloudy with a high of 30 and possible snow flurries. The Steelers kick off at 4:30 p.m.

And the Steelers are not the only game in town Saturday. Duquesne takes the court against Temple at noon, the Penguins skate against the Boston Bruins at 1 p.m. and Pitt's basketball team squares off against Seton Hall at 7 p.m.

"It's a sports explosion weekend," said Ron Dick, a Duquesne assistant professor of sports marketing.

There's also the perception problem, Dick said.

"People always think that Steelers tickets are never available," he said.

Rick Wills can be reached at rwills@tribweb.com or 412-320-7944.
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