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This list of the top 10 college games of the fall 2012 season uses the average price of tickets on the resale market. “Resale market” means tickets for sale on major websites like StubHub, Ticket Network and eBay. The list is determined using numbers from TiqIQ,an event ticket price aggregator that draws its data from those secondary sellers.
What makes each of these games so expensive? Each game has its own blend of reasons, such as team rivalries, the team’s recent performance, game location, team home base locations, timing and tradition. In the following slides, Chris Matcovich, director of data communications at TiqIQ, provides his insight into what the magic combination of factors might be for each game. There’s a strong showing by the SEC, and one team plays in no less than four of the most expensive games this season.
Note: average secondary ticket prices given were as of Sept. 10.
By Colleen KanePosted 11 September 2012
Average ticket price: $370.63
Date: Oct. 27
The Cornhuskers and Wolverines have a nontraditional rivalry, says Matcovich. This is Nebraska’s second year in the Big 10, and “people follow football very religiously out there.” Also, Matcovich says, the teams are “the cream of the crop in terms of fan base,” and are both ranked so the prices go up.
Average ticket price: $375.26
Date: Sept. 1
The Fighting Irish “just have such a wide, good traveling fan base,” Matcovich says. The Midshipmen were not the draw so much as the fact that this game was played in Ireland. For American fans, it was an excuse to travel to Ireland, and for the locals, it was a chance to see a significant example of American football up close. About 49,000 people, mostly Americans, went to Dublin and saw Notre Dame sink Navy, 50-10
Average ticket price: $402.64
Date: Nov. 24
The game alternates between the Buckeyes’ and the Wolverines’ home stadiums each year and matches up one of the longest standing rivalries of the Big 10. That makes it a “pretty hot ticket,” according to Matcovich.
Average ticket price: $402.71
Date: Oct. 27
The Sooners and the Irish play each other only once every few years, so people are waiting for this game. “Oklahoma has a wide fan base across the country, and they’re pretty big name schools, so many fans will be traveling to see this,” Matcovich said.
Average ticket price: $412.21
Date: Oct. 20
This is a conference game, but the Aggies might be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, and fans haven’t seen these opponents play each other very often, Matcovich says. Plus LSU is highly ranked this year.
Average ticket price: $427.12
Date: Oct. 6
This meeting of the Irish and the Hurricanes is “more of a throwback game” according to Matcovich. “They’re not per se rivals anymore [whereas] in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s they were.” The game will take place at Soldier Field in Chicago, and a lot of Notre Dame fans probably live close to there, he says, and Miami fans are willing to travel to see this.
Average ticket price: $447.30
Date: Sept. 22
The Irish game against the Wolverines is an annual match that alternates from one team to the other’s home stadium. This year, it’s in South Bend, Ind. Matcovich notes the proximity of the Irish’s home turf to Michigan as part of the draw for this traditional meeting. (This also marks Notre Dame’s fourth and final appearance on this list.)
Average ticket price: $452.06
Date: Nov. 24
The Iron Bowl is the annual showdown of two SEC rivals, the Crimson Tide and the Tigers. The Iron Bowl trophy is one reason prices are high; the other is that both teams are in Alabama, said Matcovich.
Average ticket price: $657.98
Date: Oct. 13
One of the NCAA’s greatest rivalries, the Red River Rivalry pits the Longhorns against the Sooners each year on a neutral site. “It’s another Big 12 rivalry,” Matcovich says. “A lot [of the appeal] has to do with the proximity of the two schools. That’s where the demand is there.”
Average ticket price: $788.90
Date: Nov. 3
The list is topped out by the infamous match of rivals that goes down this year in Tiger Stadium’s Death Valley. “Really no surprise here,” Matcovich says, “They played twice last year, [once in] the BCS National Championship. This is a conference rivalry as well as they’re pretty close in terms of proximity [and] both teams are extremely good on the field. … Both teams have been pretty good the last three to four years, and it’s also a rematch of the [BCS] championship game of last year.” Alabama won that game, 21-0.