The Hottest Ticket in Collecting

In recent years, tickets for sporting events from the late 1800s through the 1970s have begun to emerge as one of the hottest new collectibles – so hot that PSA began grading them. As of now, it's hard to ascertain just what is out there as far as tickets go, and this is why PSA's Population Report will play a vital role in the determination of rarity and value with these tickets.

Super Bowl

Conventional wisdom says that tickets, especially those for events prior to the 1970s, may be the next big thing in sports collecting, which has motivated sports fans from coast-to-coast to start digging out those boxes holding all of the tickets and stubs they have saved over the years.

Famed sports memorabilia and card collector, Kirk Harris, has been at the forefront of the emerging fascination and interest in sporting event tickets, and he believes that along with vintage baseball and World Series tickets, the greatest interest will be with Super Bowl tickets.

"I'm a true collector," Harris revealed. "I collect coins, stamps, sports memorabilia – a huge sports card collection and I have one of the world's finest collections of United States Army parachutes."

As a lifelong collector, Harris has of course kept the tickets to every sporting event he has ever attended. "I've always loved tickets," he said. "And Super Bowl tickets are amongst some of the most desirable tickets with collectors. To me, I see the Super Bowl as the greatest single day event in the world. In every other sport you have a series that determines a championship, but with the Super Bowl it's just one game."

Harris says that he believes the desire for Super Bowl tickets is high for many different reasons. "They are an actual piece of history from a specific game," he opined. "The tickets are beautiful works of art, and every Super Bowl has had its unique theme and logo."

With Super Bowl tickets, rarity is far more important than the game itself when it comes to desirability, and according to Harris, tickets from Super Bowls I through VIII are the rarest. "PSA has classified Super Bowls I through XIV as the Vintage Series," Harris explained. "Then from XV to today is considered the Modern Series. Tickets from Super Bowl II and VIII are the hardest to find. And tickets from Super Bowl XII are also very rare."

Harris points out that full Super Bowl ticket sets in high grades have not yet surfaced. "We have seen a few full Super Bowl sets sell at auction," said Harris. "But they have all been in lower grades. Sets that include stubs instead of full tickets are out there, but as far as full ticket sets in high grades – well that's where PSA's Registry will prove to be very interesting. Over the next five to 10 years, we will see a lot of tickets surface and for the first time, we will get an idea of what really exists."

As with cards, the grading of a ticket is based on printing defects, color, centering and overall condition. "Super Bowl tickets from the Modern Series do not have the printing problems that the early tickets had", Harris explained. "The older tickets, surprisingly had cuts that were done pretty well but print problems are a factor, especially with tickets from Super Bowl XIII."

Harris says that while stubs have value, they will never have the desirability of a full ticket. "I believe that 90 % of the Super Bowl Vintage Series that are out there are stubs," said Harris. "Now, will some full tickets show up? Maybe. And when they do, I think we will see the Vintage Series greatly increase in value as we learn just how few exist, while conversely, more modern Super Bowl tickets may actually decrease in value because I believe they were held on to and have big populations. I think we will see the ticket market expand in the next few years, both with Super Bowl tickets and with tickets from all sporting events. It's going to be fascinating to see what happens."

As Jacksonville, FL gears up for Super Bowl XXXIX at AllTel Stadium on February 6, 2005, we thought you might like to take a look back at the last 39 Super Bowls and some of the prized tickets that gave entrance to those games that are now coveted collectibles.

 

Super Bowl I

Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10

Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

January 15, 1967

MVP: Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay

 

The Green Bay Packers inaugurated the Super Bowl (although it was not officially called such) by defeating the AFL Champion Chiefs. The passing of Bart Starr, the receiving of Max McGee, and a key interception by all-pro safety Willie Wood were the key factors in The Pack's win. Starr completed 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Super Bowl II

Green Bay 33, Oakland 14

Orange Bowl, Miami, FL, January 14, 1968

MVP: Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay

 

After winning their third consecutive NFL Championship, The Pack won the Championship title for the second straight year. Bart Starr completed 13 of 24 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. The game would be Vince Lombardi's swan song, ending nine years of head coaching at Green Bay, in which he won six Western Conference Championships, five NFL Championships, and two World Championship games that would come to be known as The Super Bowl.

 

Super Bowl III

New York 16, Baltimore 7

Orange Bowl, Miami, FL, January 12, 1969

MVP: Joe Namath, QB, New York

 

Broadway Joe Namath "guaranteed" victory and then went out and delivered, leading the AFL to its first Super Bowl win over a team that had lost only one game all season. Namath completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards. Joe Willie's childhood hero, Johnny Unitas, who had missed most of the season, came off the bench and led Baltimore to its only touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

 

Super Bowl IV

Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7

Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA

January 11, 1970

MVP: Len Dawson, QB, Kansas City

 

The Chiefs built a commanding 16-0 halftime lead behind Len Dawson's quarterbacking and the team's solid defense that totally shut down the Vikings' rushing game. Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes and connected with Otis Taylor for a 46-yard touchdown in the second half.

 

Super Bowl V

Baltimore 16, Dallas 13

Orange Bowl, Miami, FL, January 17, 1971

MVP: Chuck Howley, LB, Dallas

 

A 32-yard field goal by rookie kicker Jim O'Brien sealed the deal for the Colts, with just five seconds left in Super Bowl V. Chuck Howley, who picked off two passes, became the first defensive player and the first player from a losing team to be named MVP.

 

1972

Super Bowl VI

Dallas 24, Miami 3

Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA

January 16, 1972

MVP: Roger Staubach, QB, Dallas

 

While Dallas rushed for a record 252 yards, their defense held Miami to a low of 185 yards while not allowing a touchdown for the first time in Super Bowl history. Staubach completed 12 of 19 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

1973

Super Bowl VII

Miami 14, Washington 7

Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

January 14, 1973

MVP: Jake Scott, Safety, Miami

 

The Fins played perfect football in the first half, as their defense allowed The Skins to cross into their territory only once. Washington's only score came late in the fourth quarter and resulted from a misplayed field-goal attempt and an infamous pass attempt by Garo Yepremian. The Redskins Mike Bass snagged the ball out of the air and took it back 49 yards for TD.

1974

Super Bowl VIII

Miami 24, Minnesota 7

Rice Stadium, Houston, TX, January 13, 1974

MVP: Larry Csonka, RB, Miami

 

The Dolphins defense limited the Vikings to only seven plays in the first quarter. The Vikings looked like a bunch of high schoolers as Csonka rushed 33 times for a Super Bowl record 145 yards, and Griese completed 6 of 7 passes for 73 yards.

1975

Super Bowl IX

Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6

Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA

January 12, 1975

MVP: Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh limped through the first half. The only score was produced by the Steelers defense. Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton was caught in the end zone for a safety. The Steelers then showed up in the second half, as Franco Harris ended up rushing 158 yards on 34 carries.

1976

Super Bowl X

Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17

Orange Bowl, Miami, FL, January 18, 1976

MVP: Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh

 

The Cowboys scored on two touchdown passes by Roger Staubach and a Toni Fritsch field goal. The Steelers scored on two touchdowns passes by Bradshaw, one being a 64-yard bomb to Lynn Swann who set a Super Bowl record by gaining 161 yards on his four receptions.

1977

Super Bowl XI

Oakland 32, Minnesota 14

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, January 9, 1977

MVP: Fred Biletnikoff, WR, Oakland

 

The Raiders won their first Super Bowl with the help of wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff's four key receptions.

1978

Super Bowl XII

Dallas 27, Denver 10

Superdome, New Orleans, LA, January 15, 1978

MVP: Co-MVPs Randy White, DT, Dallas and Harvey Martin DE, Dallas

 

Harvey Martin and Randy White, who were named co-most valuable players, led the Cowboys' defense, which recovered four fumbles and intercepted four passes.

1979

Super Bowl XIII

Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31

Orange Bowl, Miami, FL, January 21, 1979

MVP: Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

 

The game went down to the wire, as Dallas recovered an onside kick and Staubach took them in for a score with 22 seconds remaining. A second onside kick however, proved to be unsuccessful.

1980

Super Bowl XIV

Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles 19

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, January 20, 1980

MVP: Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh

 

Terry Bradshaw completed 14 of 21 passes for 309 yards and set two passing records as the Steelers became the first team to win four Super Bowls.

1981

Super Bowl XV

Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

January 25, 1981

MVP: Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland

 

Jim Plunkett passed for three touchdowns, including an 80-yard bomb to Kenny King, as the Raiders became the first wild-card team to don Super Bowl rings.

Super Bowl XVI

San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21

Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, MI, January 24, 1982

MVP: Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

 

Ray Wersching's four field goals and Joe Montana's on-target passing gave the San Francisco 49ers their first NFL Championship.

1983

Super Bowl XVII

Washington 27, Miami 17

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, January 30, 1983

MVP: John Riggins, RB, Washington

 

The win marked Washington's first NFL title since 1942, and was only the second time in Super Bowl history NFL/NFC teams scored consecutive victories.

1984

Super Bowl XVIII

Los Angeles 38, Washington 9

Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL, January 22, 1984

MVP: Marcus Allen, RB, Los Angeles

 

The Raiders dominated the Skins from the first kickoff and achieved the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history.

1985 1985

Super Bowl XIX

San Francisco 38, Miami 16

Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA, January 20, 1985

MVP: Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

 

The Niners snagged their second Super Bowl title with a dominating offense and a defense that shut down Dan Marino's explosive passing attack.

 

Super Bowl XX

Chicago 46, New England 10

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

January 26,1986

MVP: Richard Dent, DE, Chicago

 

The Bears, seeking their first NFL title since 1963, scored a Super Bowl-record 46 points in downing New England.

 

Super Bowl XXI

New York 39, Denver 20

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, January 25,1987

MVP: Phil Simms, QB, New York

 

The Giants captured their first Championship title since 1956, marking the NFC's fifth NFL title in the past six seasons.

 

Super Bowl XXII

Washington 42, Denver 10

San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, CA, January 31, 1988

MVP: Doug Williams, QB, Washington

 

Washington won its second NFL crown of the 1980s.

 

Super Bowl XXIII

San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16

Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL, January 22, 1989

MVP: Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco

 

San Francisco chalked up their third Super Bowl of the 1980s.

 

Super Bowl XXIV

San Francisco 55, Denver 10

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

January 28, 1990

MVP: Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco

 

Montana was named the Super Bowl most valuable player for a record third time. He completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and a Super Bowl-record five touchdowns.

 

Super Bowl XXV

New York 20, Buffalo 19

Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL, January 27, 1991

MVP: Otis Anderson, RB, New York

 

The Giants grabbed their second Championship by employing ball-control offense. They had possession for 40 minutes and 33 seconds – a Super Bowl record.

 

Super Bowl XXVI

Washington 37, Buffalo 24

Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN, January 26, 1992

MVP: Mark Rypien, QB, Washington

 

Mark Rypien passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins sent the Bills shufflin' back to Buffalo with their second Super Bowl loss.

 

Super Bowl XXVII

Dallas 52, Buffalo 17

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, January 31, 1993

MVP: Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas

 

Aikman passed for four touchdowns, Emmitt Smith rushed for 108 yards, and the Cowboys converted nine turnovers into 35 points to win their third Championship in a record six Super Bowl appearances. The Bills became the first team to drop three in succession.

 

Super Bowl XXVIII

Dallas 30, Buffalo 13

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA, January 30, 1994

MVP: Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas

 

Dallas joined San Francisco and Pittsburgh as the only teams to win four Super Bowl victories. The Bills, meanwhile, extended a dubious string by losing the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive year.

 

Super Bowl XXIX

San Francisco 49, San Diego 26

Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL, January 29, 1995

MVP: Steve Young, QB, San Francisco

 

Young passed for a record six touchdowns, and the 49ers became the first team to win five Super Bowls.

1996

Super Bowl XXX

Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 17

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ, January 28, 1996

MVP: Larry Brown, CB, Dallas

 

Cornerback Larry Brown's two interceptions led to 14 points helping the Cowboys to take home their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall.

 

Super Bowl XXXI

Green Bay 35, New England 21

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

January 26, 1997

MVP: Desmond Howard, KR-PR, Green Bay

 

Howard returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Brett Favre passed for two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Packers won their first Super Bowl in twenty-nine years.

 

Super Bowl XXXII

Denver 31, Green Bay 24

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

January 25, 1998

MVP: Terrell Davis, RB, Denver

 

Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl-record three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to their first NFL Championship.

 

Super Bowl XXXIII

Denver 34, Atlanta 19

Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL, January 31, 1999

MVP: John Elway, QB, Denver

 

John Elway, in his last game, passed for 336 yards and ran for a touchdown as the Broncos became the first AFC team to win consecutive Super Bowls since the Steelers won XIII and XIV.

 

Super Bowl XXXIV

St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA, January 30, 2000

MVP: Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis

 

Mike Jones tackled Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line as time expired, preserving the Rams first-ever Super Bowl title.

 

Super Bowl XXXV

Baltimore 34, N.Y. Giants 7

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

January 28, 2001

 

MVP: Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore

The Ravens defense completed a dominating season by permitting just 152 yards, forcing 5 turnovers, recording 4 sacks, and not allowing an offensive touchdown en route to the team's first Championship.

 

Super Bowl XXXVI

New England 20, St. Louis 17

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

February 3, 2002

MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England

 

Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expired gave the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl title.

 

Super Bowl XXXVII

Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

January 26, 2003

MVP: Dexter Jackson, FS, Tampa Bay

 

The Bucs won their first Super Bowl by intercepting five passes, three of which were returned for touchdowns, recording five sacks and scoring 34 unanswered points.

 

Super Bowl XXXVIII

New England 32, Carolina 29

Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX, February 1, 2004

MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England

 

What was supposed to be a colossal bore, turned into one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever with a thrilling back-and-forth final quarter. Tom Brady set up a Adam Vinatieri 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to give the Pats their second NFL Championship in three seasons.