GREEN BAY – Sometimes it's less about the opponent than the opportunity.
Prices for the Green Bay Packers next home game, against Cincinnati on Sept. 24, continue to defy gravity. The Bengals were 6-9-1 last year and were defeated 20-0 by the Baltimore Ravens in this season's opener, so they are not exactly a marquee match-up. But ticket prices for that game are holding up.
"I think we are finding if you are a Gold Package season-ticket holder, that's the game you want to come to," said Bill Wenzel of Titletown Tickets & Tours in Ashwaubenon.
The get-in price for the Bengals' game is more than it was for Seattle, a Packers rival and playoff contender, Wenzel said.
The Packers have two season-ticket packages. The Green Package includes one preseason and six regular-season games. The Gold Package, which is predominately owned by southern Wisconsin fans, includes one preseason and two regular-season games. The preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams was a night game, as is the regular-season game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 6. The Bengals game is at 3:25 p.m.
"If you are a Gold season-ticket holder, who wants to drive from Milwaukee and drive home at night after a couple of drinks?" Wenzel said.
The average of lowest seat prices for Cincinnati is down since the schedule was announced in April, from $210 to $169 on Monday, but still is above current prices for all but five of the remaining 15 games.
The least-expensive tickets over the next four weeks are for the Bears game on Sept. 28, a Thursday Night Football game. The average of lowest seat prices was $134 on Monday, $30 per ticket less than the Cincinnati game.
"The Bears game is holding better than it has in the past few years on other Thursday night games," Wenzel said. "My experience is it is likely to come down at the end."
Wenzel said Thursday night games are preferable to Monday night games because most fans would rather take Friday off to begin their weekend early than extend their weekends into Monday.
Before those two home games, four days apart, the Packers travel to Atlanta on Sunday to open the Falcons' new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Vivid Seats said the minimum ticket prices on its site are nearly the same for the Falcons and Bengals games, but the median price is higher for Atlanta, which indicates more expensive tickets remain available.
Vivid Seats reported a median price of $442 for the Falcons game, compared with $323 for Cincinnati, and a get-in price of $132, compared with $130 for Cincinnati.
SeatGeek reported an average resale price of $362 for the Falcons and a get-in price of $174, which is similar to the $170 average get-in price in the Press-Gazette's survey of seven resale sites.
The Falcons defeated the Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship game in January. That, combined with the opening of the new stadium, makes the Atlanta game one of the three most expensive on the Packers' schedule.
One of the other two is the fourth game in the next month, against the Cowboys in Dallas. The average of lowest seat prices was $287 on Monday. SeatGeeks average resale price was $399 and Vivid Seats' median price was $426.
Dallas has one of the largest standing-room-only offerings in the NFL. The lowest SRO prices on the seven sites we surveyed range from $83 to $125.
The other most expensive game is at Pittsburgh on Nov. 26, which is Thanksgiving weekend. SeatGeek's average resale price is $358.
New Orleans at Lambeau Field on Oct. 22 also is among the more expensive. It will be the first noon game of the season at home and the only home game in October.
"Prices for that game appear to be going up," Wenzel said.
Ticket prices at a glance
We surveyed tickets at seven secondary-market websites, including Event USA, NFL Ticket Exchange, SeatGeek, StubHub, ticketiQ, Titletown Ticket and Tours and VividSeats. The following is a summary of the seven sites:
Packers at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 (SNF)
» Lowest SRO, range: N/A
» Average lowest seat: $170
» Range of lowest seat prices: $128-$231
Cincinnati at Lambeau Field, 3:25 p.m. Sept. 24
» Lowest SRO, range: $123-$130
» Average lowest seat: $169
» Range of lowest seat prices: $148-$215
Chicago at Lambeau Field, 7:25 p.m. Sept. 28 (TNF)
» Lowest SRO, range: $110-$147
» Average lowest seat: $134
» Range of lowest seat prices: $129-$180
Packers at Dallas, 3:25 p.m. Oct. 8
» Lowest SRO, range: $83-$125
» Average lowest seat: $287
» Range of lowest seat prices: $245-$350