Week 1 of the NFL — Rematches and Rivalries

The NFL season is almost here, and Week 1 of the regular season is what every football fan looks forward to for seven months out of the year. Sometimes we see exactly what we expect, other times we see the tides beginning to change with a big win in the first game of the season. This year there are some big games that could open our eyes to who might be contending and who might be a door mat for the rest of the NFL. Let’s look inside the best that Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season has to offer.

Russell Wilson gets a shot at the Packers after winning a Super Bowl last season.

Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (Seattle, WA)

It’s the big rematch of the famous ‘Fail Mary’ game last season, and both of these team are among the favorites in the NFC in 2014. Aaron Rodgers is back healthy and that means the Packers are a force to be reckoned with. Even with Rodgers, winning in Seattle is a tough thing to do, and the Legion of Boom will be looking for some Green Bay receivers to rough up. Seattle really destroyed the Broncos in the Super Bowl, so the entire NFL will want to see how they do in their first test since the big game.

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers (Arlington, TX)

The 49ers came so close to the Super Bowl once again and opening up the first game of the season against the Cowboys is a great test as they begin their assault on another NFC title. Colin Kaepernick will likely not have any problems cutting through the Dallas defense, but the Cowboys offense is also quite potent. This could be a shootout as many Cowboys games are, and these two franchises have always played great games against each other.

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons (Atlanta, GA)

The Falcons had an off year in 2013, but with everyone back healthy this season Atlanta should be one of the best teams in the AFC once again. Matt Ryan has his one-two punch of Roddy White and Julio Jones back, and while Tony Gonzalez is gone, Ryan has more than enough firepower. The Saints are firepower personified, so this should be another high scoring game. Drew Brees has the best tight end in the game in Jimmy Graham and this could very well come down to the last drive of the game.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos (Denver, CO)

It’s another edition of Manning against his old team, but this time it’s in Colorado. The Colts had a great season last year under second-year QB Andrew Luck, but Manning set NFL records for the Broncos on the way to leading his team to the Super Bowl. The Broncos have only gotten better in the offseason, but if the Colts can somehow get this win, it could shift the power to Indy in the AFC for the rest of the season.

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Lifetime Longhorn Ahmad D. Brooks Visits TicketCity!!

At TicketCity, we love Longhorn football.

To kick off this season and motive our amazing team, Ahmad D. Brooks, retired NFL player, radio sports broadcaster and 2001 UT captain, joined us for the afternoon!  He was really able to get us fired up for this fall by reminding us how much the players appreciate a stadium packed with a loyal crowd.  For the Longhorns, nothing is more important than their supporters.  They know, like we do, that the fans are the heart of the game!

Thank you, Ahmad, for being part of our TicketCity family!

 

Hook ‘em Horns!!!Group Cropped

 

 

 

 

 

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The United States of College Football

Ever wonder which football team is the most popular in your state? Well that probably depends on which state you are from. Here in Texas there’s a hot debate regarding whether the Aggies or the Longhorns are more popular these days. And other states with multiple football powerhouses have the same debate raging. So we decided to use data to determine which team really is the most popular and here’s the result:

The United States of College Football

 

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the state of Texas is maroon instead of burnt orange…. Color us surprised! The Aggies have a huge following on social media with twice as many Twitter follower and 5 times as many Facebook fans. Couple that with the fact that their tickets are averaging a higher price than the Longhorns and the Burnt Orange didn’t stand a chance.

Another state where the results were surprising is Utah. With BYU and Utah’s fierce rivalry, it didn’t shock us that this was a close one, however, given BYU’s recent success we would have picked them to take the state. As it turns out, with a difference of just a half a point, Utah rose to the top. Prepare yourselves for another Holy War!

A few more interesting notes:

  • The Illinois Illini edged out Northwestern by less than 2 percentage points making it the 2nd closest contest out of all 50 states.
  • Arizona beat out ASU by a narrow margin largely buoyed by Arizona’s huge Facebook following which is 10 times larger than ASU’s. On the other hand, ASU does have nearly twice as many Twitter followers but it wasn’t enough to put them on top of Arizona.
  • Florida, despite being home to last season’s National Championship team, overwhelmingly went to the Florida Gators with a 30 point spread between them and Florida State.

Wondering how we compiled these numbers? To determine which college football team is the most popular in each state, we factored in four pieces of data for all Division I football teams (FBS and FCS). The first two data points were culled from social media; the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers that each football team’s official page has. Next, we used Google Tools to pull the monthly average number of searches conducted for each team by users in that team’s state. Lastly, we used the median price of tickets on the secondary market for the upcoming season. As the price of tickets is a strong indicator of demand, we weighed that factor heavier than the other three. We then indexed the data points and ranked the teams accordingly.

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Strong ACL Lineup Means High Demand for Tickets

As August progresses towards September, it is time for music fans to say good-bye to all the fantastic summer festivals that took place this past year and begin preparing for the gatherings of the Fall.  And the highlight of the fall season will certainly be the Austin City Limits Music Festival, taking place at Zilker Park October 3rd through the 5th and 10th through 12th.  This will be the second year in a row that ACL Fest will be spread out across two different weekends. With starring acts including Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast and many more, demand for Austin City Limits tickets has never been higher.

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

According to TicketCity, the average ticket price for a three-day pass to the first weekend is currently $290, a full $75 higher than last year.  Even more impressive, the average ticket price for a three day pass to Weekend 2 is $280, compared to only $135 last year.  The increase in demand can be for a number of reasons, but many believe this year’s lineup will draw a much more diverse crowd compared to 2013.  Last year’s lineup was headlined by Depeche Mode, Muse, Kings of Leon, Lionel Richie, Arctic Monkeys, and Kendrick Lamar.  This year’s lineup has some huge names that have been popular for decades (the aforementioned Eminem, Pearl Jam, and Outkast) but also many newer acts who have gained much popularity in 2014, such as Chromeo, Iggy Azalea, and Lorde.  Lorde will only be performing during the second weekend, but the overwhelming majority of the bigger acts will be there both weekends.

Currently, the most expensive day this year is Saturday, October 11th, at an average ticket price of $200.  That will be the day Eminem, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, and Iggy Azalea all hit the stage.  The ACL tickets are the Friday before, October 10th.  For just $105 on average, you’ll be able to see acts such as Outkast, Beck, Foster the People, and Capital Cities.  For the Lorde fans out there, she is preparing for a fall U.S. tour and will only be performing the Sunday of the final weekend, alongside Pearl Jam, Calvin Harris, and Zedd, to name a few.  The average ticket price is $110 for the final day of Austin City Limits.

This will be the thirteenth year of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and it continues to exponentially grow in popularity.  Officials expect crowds of approximately 75,000 individuals each day and covers a wide variety of genres from classic rock to electronic to hip-hop.  It is not unusual for music fans to travel thousands of miles to attend the festival year in and year out.

If this year’s lineup is a hit (which is expected) fans can expect ticket prices to increase yet again increase in 2015.  A couple years from now, it wouldn’t be unbelievable to have the cheapest tickets far exceed $200 for each day.  So if you’re torn between attending this year’s ACL Fest or waiting for future occasions, you may never be able to get a ticket for $105 ever again so make sure to take advantage!

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Can the Houston Dynamo Get a Playoff Spot?

Over the weekend, the Houston Dynamo suffered another road defeat, getting shutout by the Columbus Crew 3-0. The Dynamo have managed to win only one road game all season long, the primary reason why they are currently mired in 9th place in the Eastern Conference. They have picked up just seven wins in twenty-four games, losing thirteen times and drawing four matchups. Currently sitting at twenty-five points, the Dynamo will most likely need to come very close to doubling their point total in the final ten games of the season if they wish to make the playoffs in 2014.

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

While fans are rather expectedly frustrated with their recent play, the Dynamo have notoriously finished the season strong. Over the past eight seasons, they have lost more than three games out of their final ten just once. And even in that season (2010) they were able to scratch out 13 points by winning four games and drawing one. In 2008, Houston lost just one of their final ten games, winning five of them and drawing the other four for a total of 19 points. If they can replicate that type of success, they just may be able to sneak in to the 5th and final playoff spot on the Eastern Conference.

Depending upon how these next two or three games go, it’s certainly fair for fans to be cautiously optimistic about the Dynamo’s chances. They’ll play this Friday at Sporting KC before heading back home for two in a row. The first home matchup will be against the Montreal Impact, the line team trailing the Dynamo in the Eastern Conference standings. After that, the Columbus Crew will come to town as Houston seeks revenge after this weekend’s poor showing. The average ticket prices for Dynamo tickets to the Impact game is $30 while just a tick more expensive for the Crew game at $32.

If the Dynamo can find a way to draw against KC and then win the two home games, they’d be sitting at 32 points with seven games to go. From there, just winning out the final three home games and finding a way to get a win or a couple draws on the road would probably be good enough to reach the postseason. The final three home games are against the Chicago Fire on September 28th, D.C. United on October 12th, and the New England Revolution on October 16th. Each game has seen a progressively higher average ticket price on the secondary market at $32, $33, and $34 for each matchup, respectively. Though it’s too early to tell just how the end of this season will play out, expect ticket prices to gradually rise over the next few weeks if the Dynamo can remain in the hunt. A history of strong finishes will keep the fan base on their toes. And with a few newcomers firmly entrenched in the lineup now, it’s within reason to expect Houston to provide their fans with a very exciting finish to the 2014 campaign.

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