SBD/November 26, 2013/Colleges

Rare Battle Of Top-Five Teams In Iron Bowl Creates Large Demand For Tickets

Alabama-Auburn is in higher demand than the SEC Championship game
The cost of tickets to the Alabama-Auburn game on Saturday is "approaching record levels," as the median price for tickets sold on StubHub "is roughly $300," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. That is the "same price fans paid to see" Sunday's Broncos-Patriots game. This year's Iron Bowl features both teams ranked in the top five for the first time since '71. The '10 game, which featured then-Auburn QB Cam Newton "against the defending champion Crimson Tide, cost a lot of money." But Birmingham-based AAA Tix Owner Steve Susce said, "This is a bigger ticket than 2010. It's at Auburn, which means fewer seats and more Alabama fans trying to get in." Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium has a capacity of 87,450, about "14,000 fewer seats than Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium" (ESPN.com, 11/25). TIDESPORTS.com's Aaron Suttles cited data from ticket search engine SeatGeek as showing that Iron Bowl tickets are averaging $476, up 58% from before Auburn's most-recent game, a "last-second win over Georgia" on Nov. 16. The game is "more in demand" than the SEC Championship Game and the "second highest ticket price of the season behind only Alabama-Texas A&M, which averaged $639 per ticket." Other rivalry games this week are "selling for much less than that of an Iron Bowl ticket." Ohio State-Michigan is "averaging $272 per ticket," while Clemson-South Carolina is averaging $240 (TIDESPORTS.com, 11/25).

HOP ON THE BUS, GUS: In Birmingham, Jon Solomon reported Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn's company, HUNH LLC, recently filed an application to "trademark the phrase 'Hurry Up No Huddle,' the latest trend in coaches and universities creatively defining their rights and financial interests." Malzahn's Arkansas-based company applied on Nov. 13 for the phrase that is "often associated with the coach's up-tempo offense." The application states that the trademark is for "glassware and clothing." State of Arkansas records show that the company was "incorporated in February 2012." J&M Bookstore in Auburn has "sold 'HUNH' T-shirts this year for $17.99." Auburn marketer IMG College "filed opposition this month against C.O. Branded Corporation's application to trademark 'Gus Bus' for apparel." IMG said that it "owns certain personal, appearance and endorsement rights of Malzahn, including the term 'Gus Bus.'" Malzahn's contract shows that as long as he coaches Auburn, he "assigns all of his personal endorsement rights to the university in exchange for $900,000 per year" (AL.com, 11/22).
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