The 10 Most Expensive Seats Ever Sold

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Seats in a theater | Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

There are some things that are out of your price range. There are some things that are even out of Donald Trump’s price range. And if you’ve ever found yourself wanting to go to a concert or sporting event, only to be stonewalled by astronomical ticket prices, you’re not alone. Even a ticket to a movie theater costs a significantly more than it used to — and if you’ve ever looked up the price of Super Bowl tickets, even just for fun, you know that there are people who are willing to pay through the nose for some of the scarcest seats on the planet.

But even tickets to Super Bowl 50 — which resold for around $4,500-$5,000 — pale in comparison to some of history’s most expensive seats. Don’t be mistaken, however. There were some seats at this year’s Super Bowl that were among the most expensive seats ever sold; but they went for far, far more than average.

So, just what are the most expensive seats in history? Seats and Stools, a fine purveyor of seats and chairs, put their research team to work, along with their extensive knowledge of all things chair-related. They managed to put together a very large, and very detailed infographic that ranks the top 10 most expensive seats ever sold. Among the list are tickets to concerts and musical performances, sporting events (like this year’s Super Bowl), and even some of the most exclusive seats ever imagined — like those on outer space-bound aircraft.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive seats ever sold, according to Seats and Stools.

10. Led Zeppelin at the O2 Arena in London, 2007 – $14,700

9. World Series, Royals vs. Mets in New York City, 2015 – $17,600

8. Super Bowl 50, Panthers vs. Broncos in Santa Clara, 2016 – $20,500

7. Maharaja’s Express Train, India – $23,700

6. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, Las Vegas, 2015 – $40,900

5. Etihad Round-trip flight, NYC to Abu Dhabi – $64,000

4. NBA Finals Game 7, Celtics vs. Lakers in Los Angeles, 2010 – $81,000

3. Virgin Galactic flight to space – $250,000

2. Lunch with Warren Buffett, Smith, and Wollensky in NYC – $3,456,789

1. Round-trip flight to the International Space Station – $35 million

Clearly, there’s a big jump from the top item on the list — a seat on a round-trip flight to the International Space Station for $35 million — and number two, which is a very pricey lunch with billionaire Warren Buffett. Even the leap from number two to number three is significant, as is the drop-off from a ticket on that Virgin Galactic space flight to the price for a seat at the 2010 NBA Finals.

If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that there are some people with money to burn. And they’re willing to shell out big time for a worthwhile experience, as Seats and Stools notes in its brief. “There’s a long-standing theory that people are happier when they spend money on experiences, rather than on material things. Well it’s safe to say we’ve found some happy subscribers to this theory,” Seats and Stools’ team writes. “More than eighty thousand dollars to sit for two-and-a-half hours in a folding chair at the Staples Center? Sure, the chair was set up for a Lakers game, very well-padded and probably within spitting distance of Jack Nicholson… but still.”

As you peruse the list, a number of expensive tickets to sporting events come up, including the aforementioned Super Bowl 50 tickets. The infographic notes that at more than $20,000, ticketholders paying that price ultimately shelled out $366 per play. And as for that Led Zeppelin concert back in 2007? If you bought your ticket for $14,700, that meant you paid $919 per song.

But clearly, the most notable fixture on the list is the $35 million ticket to the International Space Station. When you think about it, this really does make sense. For the first time in human history, an opportunity to go to space exists as a civilian. Given the decades and generations of investment in both time and money that it took to get us this far, $35 million to get up there doesn’t seem so bad. It’s still 16 times the average lifetime earnings of your standard college graduate, but if you have money to burn, you may as well spend it on rocket fuel.

See the complete infographic, along with all the details, at Seats and Stools’ website.

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