They could just as easily have been discarded. Tickets to a football game that had already been played? Why keep them?
Thankfully, Homer Hall apparently recognized the significance of the first “AFL-NFL World Championship Game” and kept the twin ducats even though he couldn’t make it to Los Angeles.
Working for Oregon congressman Al Ullman and living in Alexandria, VA at the time, Hall wrote “1st Super Bowl tickets” on the front of the envelope in which they were mailed and tucked them away. Eventually, they became obscured in the usual swell of possessions most of us accumulate during a lifetime.
Recently, though, Hall’s family uncovered the unused full tickets to what we now know as “Super Bowl I” and consigned them to Heritage Auctions where they’re expected to sell for over $30,000 this weekend.
“These tickets are comparable to buried treasure,” said Chris Nerat, a consignment director with Heritage.
Hall’s daughter, who consigned them to the auction, suspects her father’s job was the reason he received the tickets. When the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs squared off Jan. 15, 1967, in what was viewed by many as little more than a grudge match between the two leagues, nobody could have realized the monstrous event the sport’s championship game would become. Organizers were begging fans to buy tickets and thousands went unsold.
The cost of the tickets was relatively miniscule – the face value was just $12, compared to the thousands fans have paid to attend the game in recent years. Mailed from Los Angeles to Washington just six days before the game, Hall either was unable or unwilling to make the cross-country trek to the game, and the tickets disappeared for decades, only to emerge now as elite collectibles. Each has been authenticated and graded 6 (EX/MT) by PSA. That original envelope with its “Air Mail” stickers are included with the tickets.
“It’s really exciting when you can picture the exact story behind a certain piece,” Nerat said. “This is one of those rare instances in which we can picture Mr. Hall receiving the envelope with the tickets in the mail, and then having to make the decision whether or not to go to what turned out to be the most significant game in football history.
“He chose not to attend, but thankfully for collectors, that decision not to go has resulted in an opportunity for someone to own a true rarity, because these tickets are essentially a museum piece.”