Despite a losing economy, four sports teams have come up big winners in the ticket-resale market. The popular ticket site StubHub on Friday put together a list of professional sports franchises that made the biggest comebacks in 2011.
The secondary or scalpers' market is often a better indicator of demand than tickets purchased from the original source. The tickets' printed value never changes, but the actual value can fluctuate wildly depending on winning streaks and the emergence of individual stars.
"Face value is not necessarily relevant when it comes to comebacks and trades," StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer said.
Without further ado, the four organizations that went from not to hot in sales beyond the box office:
Since you-know-who took over at quarterback, the volume of Broncos tickets sold on StubHub has soared 900 percent over last year at the same time. Tim Tebow may have had a greater effect on football ticket activity than any player since StubHub began in 2000, Ferrer said. Before Denver's recent winning six-game streak, about 3,000 tickets were changing hands per home game. Now it's up to 5,000. That should be enough for team executives to take a cue from their religious star and thank the Almighty.
Los Angeles Clippers
No, you haven't had too much egg nog. The Clippers. Adding star guard Chris Paul to play with acrobatic Blake Griffin has made the once-pathetic franchise the toast of Los Angeles. The Clippers have already sold 17,000 tickets on StubHub, 40 percent more than L.A.'s other team, the perennial favorite Lakers. Clipper sales are up 250 percent overall, putting the team second in the NBA in StubHub ticket transactions. On Dec. 15 of last year, 250 Clippers tickets moved on the site. This past Dec. 15? More than 4,500. Clippers resale prices have been historically lower than the Lakers', but the gap is shrinking faster than Kobe Bryant's Q rating.
New York Knicks
The Knicks traded for high-scoring Carmelo Anthony last February, and have experienced a 300 percent jump in privately sold tickets since then. The lockout and shortened season didn't seem to stop their momentum. They currently lead the NBA in resold tickets.
San Francisco 49ers
49ers tickets are the new San Francisco treat. Fans and scalpers have already purchased twice as many 49ers tickets after the original point of purchase than last year -- and the season isn't over. Sales are up 300 percent, thanks to the team's 10-3 record. If there was a Resale Super Bowl for comeback teams, the 49ers would be playing Denver for all the marbles.
CORRECTION: This article originally stated that StubHub began five and a half years ago, but it actually began in 2000.