If you were planning to grab a spot in line and settle into a lawn chair to buy Ravens playoff tickets, you can put away the thermos and the blankets. The limited number of available playoff tickets, expected to be between 500 and 1,000, will be sold online or over the phone Friday morning beginning at 10 a.m., the team announced.
The sale is expected to last just minutes, Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said yesterday.
As AFC North champions, the Ravens are assured of playing at least one playoff game at home. Depending on the outcome of remaining regular-season and playoff games, the possibility remains that the team will have a second playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium.
"We used to hand out coffee and doughnuts for people waiting, but it just seemed too cruel to [have people line up] for too few tickets," Byrne said.
Season-ticket holders got first dibs on buying postseason tickets, and about 98 percent grabbed the chance, Byrne said. Those people were required to pay for two games and also were offered the opportunity to buy extra tickets.
The seats available for general sale Friday will be in the $58 to $131 range, and customers will be limited to two tickets. Byrne suggested buyers contact Ticketmaster directly, either online or by phone. Fans can go through the Ravens' Web site, which will be linked to Ticketmaster, he said.
The major source for playoff seats for non-season-ticket holders is now the so-called secondary market, where Internet brokers, exchange posts and auction sites have effectively cornered the resale of sports and entertainment tickets.
The Ravens' official partner in the online secondary market, TicketsNow.com, had more than 1,100 Ravens first-round playoff tickets available as of yesterday. TicketsNow aggregates tickets from licensed brokers from around the country and offers them for resale.
Among the least expensive tickets were upper-level corner end zone seats, $185 each. Some lower-level end zone tickets were priced at $445. And lower-level sideline seats were about $700 and higher.
Other popular online ticket exchange sites and clearinghouses that had Ravens playoff tickets were StubHub and RazorGator. Tickets were also available on eBay, the Internet auction Web site.
Going into this weekend's NFL games, the Ravens (11-3), are the No. 3 seed in the AFC. If the situation remained unchanged or even if the Ravens dropped to the No. 4 seed, they would have a home playoff game on the wild-card weekend, Jan. 6-7. If the Ravens were to somehow move up to either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, they would have a bye week and play at home on the divisional playoff weekend, Jan. 13-14.
It is also possible for the Ravens to play at M&T Bank Stadium for the AFC championship game Jan. 21.
The Ravens' opponents for next season are set.
Home ........................... Road
Cincinnati .............. Cincinnati
Cleveland ................ Cleveland
Pittsburgh ............. Pittsburgh
New England ............ Buffalo
N.Y. Jets ......................... Miami
Arizona ..................... San Francisco
St. Louis ..................... Seattle
Indianapolis ........... San Diego