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Tom Musick: A pretty penny (times almost 300,000)

Soldier Field is illuminated as fans tailgate before the Bears take on the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 9. Tickets to Sunday's Bears game against the Packers are going for as much as $2,700. (Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)

LAKE FOREST –Hey, you.

Yeah, you.

You need tickets?

How many do you need? You need two? You need four?

Check these out. These are the tickets you want. These will put you in the first row of Section 107, right behind the visitors’ bench, for the biggest game of the season.

You know the Bears are playing the Packers, right?

You know the winner clinches the NFC North, right?

All it will cost you is $2,700 a ticket.

So, do we have a deal or what?

“That’s a lot for a deciding-factor game,” Bears running back Michael Bush said with a smile Thursday. “Whoever sells the ticket for that money is going to be happy.”

No kidding.

Consider the latest secondary-market ticket prices to see the winner-take-all matchup, not to mention one of the greatest rivalries in sports. The Bears and Packers will meet with the division title on the line Sunday at Soldier Field, and anyone who is searching for a ticket to the sold-out game should be willing to spend big money.

Here is the latest data as of this week from TiqIQ, an event ticket search engine.

•Average price: $427.09.

•Lowest price available: $198.

•Most expensive ticket: $2,700.

All of these figures are well above the Bears’ averages in each category, and the prices likely will climb higher now that the Packers have announced that superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers will return from a seven-game injury absence.

Let’s be honest, though.

It’s excessive to pay almost $3,000 to see a sporting event that you can watch on TV. Even if that ticket is in the front row. Even if that game is the biggest yet.

Whoever pays those types of prices is crazy, right?

“It’s their passion, man,” Bears long-snapper and elder sage Patrick Mannelly said. “People chase their passion. That’s what they do. It’s their right and it’s what they want to do, so I don’t look down on it at all. But I just wouldn’t do it.”

Neither would most of the Bears.

A hypothetical haggling session with Mannelly, 38, proved to be tough. After he said Pearl Jam was his favorite band, I tried to push him for how much he would spend for a coveted ticket on the secondary market.

Let’s say they’re playing the Metro. The place fits only 1,000 people or so.

“What’s the [face value] ticket price, hypothetically?” Mannelly said.

Let’s say $250.

“I’d pay $300 to $350,” Mannelly said. “I’d pay maybe $100 more, go a little bit above.

“I do love it, music and sports, but I value money too much.”

Other players were reluctant to fork over what some fans will spend this weekend.

Bears running back Michael Ford said he has “never spent anything on a ticket,” although he doesn’t expect that good fortune to last forever.

“I guess if I was an older cat, I probably would pay a pretty penny to watch Barry Sanders,” Ford said. “I probably would pay a pretty penny to watch Michael Jordan.”

As for now?

“LeBron James right now,” Ford said. “I probably would want to go watch that.”

OK, let’s talk business.

Courtside seat: $250.

“Yeah, I’d do $250.”

$500?

“Yeah.”

$750?

“Nah.”

Bush also started off as a tough customer when discussing top-dollar ticket prices. But once the conversation turned to golf –Bush is a self-proclaimed golf junkie –the 29-year-old running back was willing to open his mind, if not his wallet.

Let’s say it’s the Masters. And it’s Sunday. And you need a ticket.

“See, now you hit the spot,” Bush said. “I don’t know how much I would pay. I still can’t see myself doing $3,000. That’s a lot.”

Bush paused.

He remembered spending four figures to watch welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather earlier this year in Las Vegas.

“The most I’ve ever paid for something was going to the Mayweather fight,” Bush said. “And you know what? That might have been $3,000.

“Granted, I was only seven rows back, so it was worth it. I’d never been to one.

“Maybe this is a Mayweather fight to other fans. I could see why they want to do it.”

Who needs Vegas?

High-paying Bears fans could see a knockout on the lakefront.

•Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at tmusick@shawmedia.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.

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