The Houston Texans played such a propitious regular season that, even after a dismal recent run, one might expect that diehard fans are going into Saturday's wild card game against the Cincinnati Bengals with renewed excitement.
Not so, says Pat Ryan, co-owner of The Ticket Experience, a Houston-based ticket broker.
"By the time I got into the office on January 2, for every one person wanting to buy a ticket, there were seven wanting to sell," Ryan tells CultureMap.
"This is the absolute worst case scenario for people trying to sell Texans tickets."
After a few weeks of losing — and losing hard — fans have determined that the season is either going to end this weekend on the turf of Reliant Stadium or on January 13 in New England.
And they remember all too well what happened the last time the Texans went up against the Patriots.
Ryan explains that Saturday's game is the least in-demand home game of the year (excepting preseason play) and that more Texans fans tried to score seats to the November matchup against the Chicago Bears in Chicago than they have been for this hometown playoff game — a harsh reminder of the waning enthusiasm.
A few other factors compound the problem: Bengals fans are (according to Ryan) some of the least likely to travel in the league and the playoff selections leave little time for planning ahead, so tickets tend to flood the market in a rush.
"This is the absolute worst case scenario for people trying to sell Texans tickets," says Ryan, who sees seats on the 50-yard line selling for just $300 per ticket.