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Super Bowl tickets: Some 49ers SBL holders not pleased with lottery process

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Levi's Stadium will be hosting Super Bowl 50 next month, and naturally tickets are available at quite the premium. It should surprise nobody that San Francisco 49ers SBL holders are kind of pissed about the ticket process.

The San Francisco 49ers are the "host" for the game, and as such, they get a small allotment of tickets to do with as they please. The stadium holds 68,500 people, and is reportedly expandable to as much as 75,000 seats for the Super Bowl. The Mercury News article linked above said the team reported they got approximately 5 percent of tickets, similar to past teams. If we go with the larger figure, that comes out to 3,750 tickets.

SBL holders received a pair of emails during this process. The first was sent out September 1, 2015. It said there would be a limited number of tickets available, and there would be a lottery. The email also said more details would be emailed out later in the season. The second email did not go out until Friday. Here are the two emails:

Fans are pissed for a variety of reasons. Some just wanted more frequent communication on the topic. I totally get that. It feels like this email was sent out in response to the article. Maybe it was always planned this way, but the timing is certainly quite the coincidence.

Other fans are pissed because they felt they were promised access to Super Bowl tickets. SBL holders are given right to purchase tickets to non-football events, but the SBL license does not offer full guarantees on anything. It's a well-written legal document.

Some of these fans claim specific promises were made. I worked in sales for a year with a minor league baseball team (Bowie Baysox), and then for about a year with the Oakland A's. I got out of sales because another opportunity with the A's came along, and I did not have the personality needed to do sales. There are plenty of good, honest sales people, but there are also people that will imply or outright promise things they cannot deliver. It's just the way sales can be for some folks. I would not doubt that there are Levi's Stadium sales people who gave SBL holders the entirely wrong impression about access to Super Bowl 50 tickets.

I feel bad for people that feel hoodwinked in all this, but given that this is the Super Bowl, I think there is a certain amount of naivety in play as well. The Super Bowl has been a corporate event for a long time. As the Mercury News article points out, many of the tickets are going to sponsors, politicians, and the people who bought significantly higher value ticket packages at the stadium. This is a big money item, and it long ago priced out most "average" fans. People will pay significantly marked up prices, but otherwise being physically at the Super Bowl is not for the average fan.

It sucks, but it's the life of being a fan of professional football. The NFL is all about maximizing its profits. I certainly don't blame businesses for wanting to maximize their profits, but as is often the case, the little guy gets kicked in the junk, or outright ignored.