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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Since last Thursday's NFL schedule release, the Las Vegas Raiders have enjoyed immense success in the ticket sales department.

By the numbers: According to data from SeatGeek, the Raiders are not only the top-selling team, but also boast by far the highest average ticket price ($622), roughly 30% higher than the second-place Seahawks ($439).

  • Three of the top five selling games on SeatGeek are Raiders home games against the Saints (Week 2), Bills (Week 4) and Chiefs (Week 10).
  • StubHub, meanwhile, says the Raiders are the second-best selling team on their platform, trailing only the Cowboys. Last season they ranked 16th.

The big picture: Fan interest tends to spike when a team arrives in a new city, but even with that taken into account, the Raiders have sold more tickets than many in the industry expected, given the uncertainty surrounding the NFL season.

  • Maybe it's the combination of newfound confidence in refund policies and a desire to envision a football-filled fall after months of no sports. Or, maybe people just really like Vegas.

Looking ahead: This is inarguably great news for the Raiders, the NFL and the city of Las Vegas, but that hardly means we're out of the woods yet.

  • If these games are canceled or fanless, the cascade of refunds involving teams, third-party platforms, buyers and sellers won't be pretty.
  • Plus, the percentage of Raiders' tickets sold to visiting fans is likely higher than any other team (who doesn't want to plan a Vegas trip around a football game?), meaning the hospitality industry will also suffer.

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2020 - Sports

Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing amid the pandemic

Division I college football is trudging ahead amid the pandemic.

Driving the news: Every Power Five league plans to play conference-only schedules (two minor exceptions aside) beginning as early as Sept. 5, with championship games slated for mid-December.

Democrats drubbing Trumpless GOP on social media

Data: Twitter/CrowdTangle (Feb 24, 2021); Chart: Will Chase/Axios

In a swift reversal from 90 days ago, Democrats are now the ones with overpowering social media muscle and the ability to drive news.

The big picture: Former President Donald Trump’s digital exile and the reversal of national power has turned the tables on which party can keep a stranglehold on online conversation.

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to announce details of a plan to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.