Panther Tracks

The Panthers-Seahawks playoff game brings hefty costs for fans, travelers

Irish pub Ri Ra in uptown Charlotte has devoted an entire window to display support for the Carolina Panthers.
Irish pub Ri Ra in uptown Charlotte has devoted an entire window to display support for the Carolina Panthers. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

Attending this weekend’s Carolina Panthers divisional playoff game in Charlotte against the Seattle Seahawks is, unsurprisingly, not so cheap, especially for fans traveling from out of town.

The average ticket price to attend the matchup at Bank of America Stadium is Sunday is $465.65, according to data from Priceline.com and TiqIQ.com this week.

The two sites said the “get-in price,” or the least expensive ticket for the game, is $202. Round-trip airfare from Seattle ranges between $639-$1,198. Four-star hotels in Charlotte range from $199-$329 a night, and 3-star hotels range from $73-$399.

Booking hotels and flights is naturally much less costly when done in advance. The Panthers and Seahawks just learned on Sunday they would face off in the divisional round, however, when the Seahawks beat Minnesota 10-9.

But this weekend’s playoff game could generate unprecedented amounts of tourism dollars for Charlotte, experts say, from hotel stays to corporate outings to visits to area restaurants and bars. The economic impact, of course, would be even larger if the Panthers win this weekend and play at Bank of America Stadium again on Jan. 24.

Though some analysts say a home playoff game could have a $5 million economic impact, it’s tough to say how much extra revenue this year’s playoff game could generate compared with years past. The Panthers have never been 15-1 before.

A bit of relief for fans driving in to see the game: Gas prices in the Charlotte area, like the rest of the U.S., keep falling and remain well under the $2 a gallon mark on average.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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