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Jim Irsay to fans: You don’t really pay full price for preseason tickets

Jim Irsay

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announces that head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, during an NFL football news conference at the team’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


For NFL fans, nothing feels like a bigger rip off than having to pay full price for tickets to preseason games. Fans know they have to pay for two preseason tickets if they want the privilege of also paying for eight regular-season tickets, but they don’t have to like it.

Colts owner Jim Irsay, however, says those fans are missing the larger point. Irsay says that while preseason tickets are bundled in with regular-season tickets, and all 10 games have the same ticket price stamped on them, the reality is that the tickets don’t really all cost the same.

In a series of tweets, Irsay explained to fans how he sees it: You pay a lump sum for 10 season tickets, knowing that some games (like Peyton Manning’s return with the Broncos on October 20) are worth a lot more than face value, and other games (like the two preseason games) are only worth buying so you’ll have the ability to also buy tickets to the Broncos game. Irsay says season tickets shouldn’t even have individual prices on individual tickets because the reality is the value of the tickets to the 10 home games varies widely.

Irsay’s logic is sound: The two preseason tickets are treated as two-tenths of the cost of season tickets, but we all know that the real reason to buy season tickets is to get to see your team for eight regular-season games.

Still, it feels a little uncomfortable seeing a guy who inherited a billion-dollar business from his rich dad telling his customers that they shouldn’t complain about spending their hard-earned money on his high-priced product.