BCS Teams Struggling to Sell Tickets

By DJ Byrnes on December 26, 2013 at 11:31a
BCS ticket sales have been sluggish (again).

This morning, Chris mentioned a Toledo Blade report that Ohio State has sold roughly 7,5000 of their 17,000 alotted tickets for the Orange Bowl. Turns out, Ohio State isn't the only one facing sluggish sales: 

Both teams playing in the Fiesta Bowl, Baylor and Central Florida, have returned thousands of unsold tickets from their 17,500 seat allotment. Baylor sold about 12,000 tickets while Central Florida managed to sell less than half of its allotment.

... This isn't the first time in recent years that an Orange Bowl team has struggled to sell out its allotment. Last year Florida State sold less than half its allotment while Northern Illinois couldn't get rid of 7,000 tickets. In 2012 Clemson and West Virginia were forced to eat a combined total of more than 15,000 tickets.

... College bowls, particularly those in the BCS, have come under increased scrutiny in recent years for its business practices. Many of the bigger bowls enjoy tax breaks, but then charge the schools -- many of which are taxpayer-financed public universities -- for not selling their ticket allotment.

Fans could always be circumventing schools and looking to the secondary market for better prices/seats, but those schools will be on the hook for tickets they don't sell. What a system!

Thankfully, the BCS' corpse is being shoved into a shallow, unmarked grave after this season. Let's never talk about it again.


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Crimson's picture

Ohio State has sold roughly 7,5000 of their 17,000 alotted tickets for the Orange Bowl.


ATXbucknut's picture

Even though the BCS bowl system is being shelved, that won't change the fact that many (most?) schools struggle to sell out their allotment of tickets, will it?  I assume the bowls will still charge schools for unsold allotments, no?
In any event, this is yet another reason why there should be bowls in the north.  If a major B1G or ACC team were playing in Indianapolis, NYC, DC, etc. there would be no unsold allotments.
It's a lot to ask Midwesterners to drop a few thousand bucks for a trip down south around the holidays.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Agreed, ATXBuck. It's also tough asking them to spend thousands on the Orange Bowl... a game that's ultimately an exhibition game.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

OhioKris's picture

all bowl games are exhibition games and are pointless. 
the only purpose they serve is a money grab. 
They should have been scrapped years ago and a playoff system installed LIKE EVERY OTHER DAMN SPORT in the country, nai World. 

razrback16's picture

Still hope we have more fans there than Clemson fans.

razrback16's picture

And agree with atx on northern bowl games. If we had some games up this way in a dome that was closer to Ohio, you bet your bottom dollar the OSU alotment is completely sold out.

Crimson's picture

I think the main problem is the price differential.  It's not that tOSU has a problem selling even 20,000 tickets, it's that allotment tickets should be the last ones to be sold with the price differential.  Of course, we could sell out the whole stadium if it were played within 500 miles of Columbus.

Bucks777's picture

Agree.  If they would do an Indy game for instance in the dome, or say Detroit dome, those venues would be sold out. The fact that you are asking people to fly in, get a hotel and purchase tickets in this day and age...just not practical. 
They need to get airlines and hotels involved in order to make this work going forward . ie. a 2 day all inclusive trip for 2, 2 night  hotel, and flight, with ticket for 2 for under 700.00 that would sell.

rkylet83's picture

Make it a bit more affordable for fans and they would sell them all in a heartbeat.  The average fan can't fork over 2-3,000 dollars to travel to watch a game and support their school.

armybuckinva's picture

I get excited when I think of the possibilities of having a home playoff game next season.  Just think about it.  Getting to host FSU, Bama, Stanford, Baylor, LSU, or whoever.  Then reality slaps me in the face and I become not so impressed with the new playoff system.  I could see them having trouble with sales on those playoff games as well.  Fans may hold out to see if their team makes it to the final game.  Others may go for it on the 1st round game.  A lot will say the hell with it and watch from the comforts of their living room.

brandonbauer87's picture

I'd be willing to go to a bowl game if it's within a reasonable driving distance. Miami is way too far to drive. New Orleans would be close enough. I'm not going through the hassle of flying unless I'm planning a trip around the bowl game. 

Geraffi's picture

In addition to comments above, the Orange Bowl is played on a weekday after a holiday where folks have already traveled and are working again. The bowl system and networks have spread the bowls out so that each can be aired in prime time, and as a result, they make it difficult for fans to attend. 
Good riddance BCS. 

Crimson's picture

Yeah, except that it's staying the same way next year.  It's only the 4-team playoff that's changing.

Idaho Helga's picture

You're right, they are spreading the games out over weekdays which makes it harder for the average Joe to go.  They are doing that becau$e the TV revenue i$ where it'$ at.

NW Buckeye's picture

Secondary tickets for the Orange Bowl on Stubhub are selling as low as $40 per ticket.  Tickets sold by the University are at full price only.   All the bowl teams have their allotment to sell, but they are selling them at full price.  This coupled with the varied schedule for the bowls for TV scheduling is killing the market for the schools to sell tickets themselves.  The situation is not going to get much better.  Heck, OSU travels better than just about any school out there, and the ticket sales by the University are dismal.  You would think they (the bowl committees and the schools) would get the message and do what is necessary to have people in the stands.  

Crimson's picture

They don't care about that.  They charge the universities for not selling their allotment and then sell them at the door (or whenever the allotment window closes).  They aren't losing money on this deal, or they would be nicer to the universities about the terms.

CentralFLBuckeye's picture

There are enough OSU fans down here that will buy up tickets we should be ok. Clemson will be well represented also since it is a fairly short trip for them relatively speaking. 

Buck Commander's picture

Everything favors the south.......Bring that shit up north where real football is played!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

703Buckeye's picture

As a poor college student, I cannot afford to attend a game in Florida. Living in VA, the coming years will make it much easier to see Buckeye games; Navy and Maryland in 2014, then VTech in 2015.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

buckz4evr's picture

We just bought our
tickets.  We'll be driving up for the day and driving back the same night unless it gets too late.  Then we will stop way passed Miami.  That place is bad news late at night, especially if you are not familiar with the area

Qujo's picture

Not so poor, but a flight from DFW to Mia is $814. The 2-3 nights in a hotel another $250 a night and then decent tickets another $250-$300. Add in alcohol, partying and food and it is almost $4,000 to do the trip right. 
I usually can fly to CMH and see a couple of games and do it for less than $2,500 for both games and get to experience classic Buckeye tailgating, skull session and the Varsity club.  Got to be wise. Would rather see it in person but sometimes the cold beers in the man cave are better and seeing it on a 60" TV with replays is a better way to go. Real is real. 
and I agree with a previous poster, looking forward to seeing games in NY area next year for much cheaper and probably a better experience. This from a guy who went to 2002 NC game, Alamo bowl against  the other OSU and the 2007 NC game against LSU. I am not afraid to spend money yet, there has to be more value in it for me. 

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

GOOMBAY's picture

Hmmm... Consumers not mindlessly buying our product? Let's find a way to mock the consumers instead of retooling our rotting corpse of a product!

buckguyfan1's picture

Hopefully many of the Florida Buckeyes will represent... Just purchased a group of 8 last night between 2 families.  Want to wish a special group of Seniors off the right way.  They helped hold things together through some tough times. 
Farewell El Guapo!

Sleepy's picture

Darren Rovell tweeted out the % of bowl tickets sold for a handful of teams this morning...
Sparty - 100%
Iowa - 95%
UM - 51%
tOSU - 44%
Wisconsin - 32%
Minnesota - 29%
Didn't see Nebraska in any of his tweets.

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

Get rid of the bowl tie ins altogether and just play playoff games at the higher seeded team's home stadium. Why should these bowl directors get paid so handsomely when the schools can do it without them? 
BCS bowl directors make 500k +. It's absurd.