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The NFL keeps about one-fourth of the tickets, with many going to league sponsors. Each participating team gets 17.5 percent for the organization and for its fans, who generally enter a lottery to purchase tickets. The host club gets 5 percent, and the other 29 clubs get 1.2 percent each, or 34.8 percent overall.

The Superdome’s capacity for the Super Bowl is approximately 72,000.

Players who don’t fill their allotment become more popular than ever with teammates who need as many tickets as they can get their hands on.

Niners defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois attended LSU and most of his pals are still in Baton Rouge. But he didn’t buy all the tickets available to him.

“I had a lot of requests but I only take care of the immediate family,” he said. “I ain’t worried about all the friends and everybody else out there. I just stuck with the immediate family. Let’s get that over with _ and save money, too.”

Teammate receiver-punt returner Kyle Williams only wanted friends and relatives at the game if he was playing. He’s on injured reserve. His popularity quotient probably spiked because it meant extra tickets for other Niners.

But Williams’ decision was rare. Many other players grabbed their 15, then handed them to family members to distribute.

“My mom handled it all,” San Francisco All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith said, echoing many 49ers and Ravens. “People have to understand the ticket thing, so we made it clear: Go through my mom.”

Ravens cornerback Corey Graham set some ground rules for his tickets: Only people who came to his games all season.

“You have a lot of people that are going to want to come to the game because it’s the Super Bowl,” Graham said. “But if you haven’t been supporting me throughout the year, going to the regular games when we were playing the Detroit Lions or the Cleveland Browns, then why would I want to bring you out here to come to a great place like New Orleans to see the Super Bowl on the greatest stage in the world?”



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