The real "inflategate"? Super Bowl ticket prices through the years

Did Super Bowl tickets ever not cost a fortune?

The personal finance website GoBankingRates has calculated average ticket costs adjusted for inflation since the very first Super Bowl, in 1967. A ticket that year had a face value of $12, the equivalent of $85 today. 

Up until the mid-90s, tickets still could be had for less than $300 apiece, adjusted for inflation. Then the price started rising and didn’t let up. This year, average ticket prices top $1,300 on the secondary market. 

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The cost of Super Bowl tickets has risen dramatically since the 1990s. 

Irina Ivanova/CBS MoneyWatch

The most expensive tickets, at $1,350 each, coincided with the largest TV audience for a Super Bowl: 2015, when 114.4 million people watched the Patriots beat the Seahawks. 

Put another way, the price of a Super Bowl ticket has grown by a factor of 13.

Over the same period, Americans’ inflation-adjusted disposable income also rose significantly--but nowhere near the rate of ticket prices. The average American in 1967 had the equivalent of $15,041 in disposable income; by 2015, that figure was almost $38,900 -- or about two and a half times as much.