SBD/December 1, 2011/Events and Attractions

Demand For Inaugural Big Ten Title Game Tickets "Soft" On Secondary Markets

Wisconsin and Michigan State will play Saturday in the inaugural Big Ten championship football game, and ticket brokers said that demand for the game “is soft, with thousands of tickets available on the secondary market at well below face value,” according to Michael Pointer of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The Big Ten “put 2,000 tickets on sale Tuesday through Ticketmaster at prices of $80 to $175.” Wisconsin, while “expecting to sell its allotment of 15,000 seats eventually, had 2,000 remaining Tuesday.” Brokers said that part of the reason for the soft demand “is the nature of all college football conference championships, which generally don't sell well on the secondary market.” Milwaukee-based Ticket King partner Jim Boyce said that Wisconsin fans “haven't responded as strongly as he expected.” He “thinks that's due in part to the Badgers having clinched a berth in the game only a few days ago.” Boyce: "I don't care who you are, when you've got that little turnaround time, that's going to have a major effect.” A public sale of 20,000 tickets “sold out on July 30.” Michigan State has known it was going to play in the game “since Nov. 19 and school officials say its 15,000-ticket allotment has been sold.” StubHub Corporate Communications Manager Joellen Ferrer said that “more than 9,000 tickets were available on the site Tuesday afternoon.” The SEC title game in Atlanta on Saturday “has less than 5,000 listed.” Other than the SEC, league title games “have had mixed results in terms of demand.” Omaha-based Red Zone Tickets Owner Brett Franksmann said that conference title games “only sell well if it's a longtime rivalry ... or if it has national title-game implications” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/30).

SEAT FILLERS WANTED? In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted the Big Ten was “forced to send a Tweet out saying it is NOT paying fans to fill Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.” The conference tweeted, "Fans, please be aware, regarding the Big Ten Football Championship Game, the Big Ten is NOT paying fans to attend. #B1GFCG." Walked noted that StubHub had tickets listed “for as little as $9” (JSONLINE.com, 11/30). An ad posted on Craigslist read, "Saturday night event in downtown Indianapolis needs seat-fillers. Total number of seat-fillers needed will vary based on crowd. Must tolerate loud noise and crowds. Must have red or dark green casual clothing to wear.” The Big Ten said, “We are not involved in that. You’ll have to ask Craig’s List” (OUTKICKTHECOVERAGE.com, 11/30).
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