CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Thinking about making the 18-hour drive to Kansas City to watch the Browns play the Chiefs this coming Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium?
Those who didn’t buy tickets as soon as the clock hit 00:00 against the Steelers will pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a seat.
Tickets in the lower bowl near the 50 yard line at the stadium in Missouri were going for $2,728 around noon on Tuesday, according to Gametime.co, a website that sells last minute tickets. The cheapest seats available were $848. Stubhub.com had nosebleeds for $563, but you had to buy a pack of five.
Hindsight being what it is, the best time to buy would have been as soon as the Browns went up 28-0 against the Steelers.
Browns fans who started poking around ticket sites at the end of the first quarter last Sunday are kicking themselves for not pulling the trigger on those tickets.
“I regret not having immediately bought them,” said Martin Cizmar, a 40-year-old Northeast Ohioan who lives in Kansas City. “Ticket prices by the next morning were soaring, and they have only continued to go up.”
In part, those prices reflect Browns’ fans delight at making it to the second round of the playoffs.
“I am beyond excited,” said Cizmar, who has seen every Browns game since 1999. “I am a diehard Browns fan who has been waiting for this since the 2002 playoff loss.”
Chiefs fans expect to beat the Browns, and they take for granted that they are going to a playoff game again next year, Cizmar said. It’s not the same for Browns fans.
“For Browns fans, having just waited 18 years, we know how far away that next chance might be,” he said. “That’s why Browns fans are willing to go to these lengths. Because we in no way will take it for granted that we won’t wait that long again.”
The ticket prices also reflect the good weather that is expected on Sunday.
Kansas City fans are not willing to tolerate cold and snow the way that Ohioans are, said Cizmar. In 2019, Cizmar said he paid just $140 to go to the AFC Championship game in Kansas City when it was 10 degrees.
“It’s going to be 47 and partly sunny for this game,” he said. “That means that they are not giving up the tickets.”
The sky-high prices have attracted scammers looking to take advantage of elated fans.
“I got scammed like a Boomer,” said Cizmar, who responded to a Craigslist ad selling tickets at just about face value. He sent the man $175 before realizing the scam.
“He said, ‘I work in corrections. I wouldn’t scam you, bro,’” said Cizmar. “His [Facebook] profile said he worked in wealth management. I should have just stopped talking to him then.”
Cizmar is excited about the game despite the ticket scam.
Browns fans who are able to pay the steep prices can expect a wonderful experience. Arrowhead Stadium is a wonderful place to watch a game and Kansas Citians are peaceable fans, he said.
“It will be a really memorable experience for people who are going to make it out,” said Cizmar. “But they’re certainly going to pay for that experience.”