Tickets for the first Carolina Panthers playoff game in five years sold out in three minutes Wednesday morning as roughly 7,000 tickets were bought moments after they went on sale at 10 a.m.
The Panthers will host a playoff game at 1 p.m. Jan. 12. The team must wait for the results of this weekend’s wild-card playoff games to determine its opponent.
The face value of tickets ranged from $61 to $200, not including club seats.
Fans can still buy tickets on the secondary market, but there is a considerable markup. On the Web site stubhub.com, the cheapest ticket was listed at $150 on Wednesday afternoon. There were nearly 5,500 tickets for sale.
The Panthers also have a team-sanctioned Web site for fans to buy and sell tickets, even at marked-up prices.
Caleb Vance of Charlotte said he logged on to the Ticketmaster Web site, which the team used to sell the tickets. To ensure he had the fastest computer, he said he used a cable Internet connection instead of a wireless connection.
“I have been down this road before,” Vance said. “I hard-wired my computer straight in. I don’t know who would have a higher bandwidth. I tried to buy one ticket, best available, any price. I was immediately told nothing was available.”
Vance said he thinks that secondary ticket sellers were able buy large quantities of tickets. He said he was also unable to buy tickets for the team’s last playoff game, in January 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Jamie Callahan of Huntersville said he just missed out on getting tickets. He went to a Ticketmaster kiosk at Northlake Mall at 9 a.m. and said he was the eighth person in line.
“I missed out,” Callahan said. “The third person in front of me was the last person who got them.”
He said he probably won’t buy marked-up tickets.
“I don’t think I’ll do that,” he said. “I think I’ll stay home and watch on the couch. It was a stretch as it was.”
The high demand for tickets in Charlotte was in contrast to some other NFL cities.
Before the Panthers play in 11 days, there are four playoff games this weekend. Three of the four teams – Cincinnati, Green Bay and Indianapolis – were in danger of not having sellouts for the games, which could result in a local TV blackout.
If the Panthers win on Jan. 12, the team could host the NFC Championship game the following weekend – but only if the Seattle Seahawks lose.
Panthers season-ticket holders are obligated to buy playoff tickets. That means there are only a few tickets available to the general public. The stadium has more than 73,000 seats. Staff writer Jonathan Jones contributed
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