Remarkably, the Green Bay Packers have plenty of tickets for sale for this Sunday's playoff matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
Late Monday night, a Packers spokesman said the team had approximately 15,000 tickets for sale for the game. Late Tuesday morning, the spokesman said approximately 13,000 were left.
Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey also announced the franchise had lifted the limit of four tickets per transaction. "Groups considering purchasing more than four can now do so conveniently," Popkey said in an email. He added the team is confident the game will be sold out.
That's somewhat of a surprise, given the size of Packer Nation. So what are some of the reasons?
1. Green and Gold season-ticket holders appear to have punted on the availability of tickets. When playoff tickets were offered to them in late November, the Packers were not playing dominating football. Fans may have figured the team had little or no chance to advance.
The Packers mailed playoff ticket invoices to season ticket holders in the third week of November for a possible home playoff game (or games) at Lambeau. Under a new policy, fans who paid for playoff tickets were told that, if the team didn't make the playoffs, the money would be automatically applied to the cost of 2014 season tickets. In the past, the Packers returned that credit balance to season ticket holders.
2. Packers fans consider themselves hardy, but the cold weather can't be denied. Sunday's forecast for Green Bay calls for frigid temperatures.
3. The Packers, like many other professional sports franchises, are mindful of people choosing to watch games in the comfort of their own home. That's why the Packers place so much emphasis on the game experience, and constantly remind us of the iconic status of Lambeau Field.
4. Lambeau Field is bigger. With the addition of 7,000 seats in the south end-zone area, capacity is 80,750.
That makes Lambeau the third largest stadium in the National Football League, behind FedEx Field in Washington and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
With so many tickets for sale, this will also have an impact on the secondary market. At SeatGeek.com, a ticket search engine, tickets were going for as little as $148 per ticket.
And via TiqIQ.com, eBay is selling tickets for as little as $129 per ticket.
Fred Benz of Ticket King in Wisconsin, acknowledged the sale of tickets controlled by the Packers has had an impact on sales in the secondary ticket market.
It's been a funny year for Packers ticket sales, all of it largely tied to the absence of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his broken collarbone. Benz said for the first time in memory, tickets to the Dec. 8 Atlanta Falcons game were selling for less than face value on the secondary ticket market.
"There's opportunity out there for sure for buyers," Benz said Tuesday.
And in case you're wondering, the possibility exists, however slim, of a TV blackout. The deadline for a sellout is 72 hours before a game. In this case, that means Thursday. However, the NFL often has granted franchises additional time to sell tickets to ensure a sellout.