It's half-time and the Chicago Bears are leading the Seattle Seahawks 21-0. If they can hold on until the end, the Bears will go head-to-head with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship next Sunday. Already, Craigslist is filling up with hundreds of posts by individuals asking for or trying to sell tickets to the game. (They're being added so fast that I can't count all of them.) Some are asking as much as $2,500 per ticket for good seats, but the prices vary. "Get them now before the tickets sky rocket!!!" one post reads. Another: "Hey hey, I would like to buy as many as 4 seats together for the Bears and Packers next week. I can meet today and am looking for 4, but will definitely consider a pair as well. Just let me know! GO BEARS!"
There's no time to do the research this afternoon (I've got to get back to the game, and the pizza is supposedly on its way), but maybe somebody has already done it -- I turn the question to you: How much has Craigslist, the online marketplace that enjoys billions of visits every month, driven up the price of tickets and other goods by providing access to a wider audience, thereby increasing potential demand?
It's expected that a Bears/Packers battle would command higher-than-average ticket prices. The two -- storied rivals -- haven't met in the playoffs since December 14, 1941, according to ESPN's Jon Greenberg -- one week after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Back then, fans lined up downtown for a chance to purchase standing room-only tickets for $1.65, according to Greenberg. That's equal to about $25 today, or just enough to get you a couple of beers and a slice of pizza at Chicago's Soldier Field.
Another factor driving up prices is an existing demand for all-things Chicago Bears. The team, despite a lot of losses and some less-than-stellar years, has sold out every single game for 26 years, since the 1985-86 season, which is, coincidentally, the last time they won the Super Bowl.