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Volume 24 No. 216
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UGA's Proximity To Atlanta Driving Up CFP Title Game Prices On Secondary Ticket Market

Univ. of Georgia fans are "driving up" secondary ticket prices "at a record rate" for Monday's CFP title game against Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to Gleeson & Perez of USA TODAY. StubHub Communications Manager Cameron Papp said that its website "crashed for close to 20 minutes -- due to abnormal traffic -- on Monday night" following UGA's Rose Bowl victory. Papp: "We had more traffic than expected, driven by sales in Georgia." Papp added that Georgia "led the way in overall ticket sales by state at 50%." By yesterday afternoon, StubHub's "cheapest ticket for the game was $2,000, and the average price for a ticket sold for the game was $2,689." The record for the "average price paid for a ticket in a national championship football game" is Alabama-Notre Dame in the '13 BCS title game at $1,640. CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock said that one key reason for the price jump is the "lack of inventory, because both Alabama and Georgia receive 20,000 tickets -- making up 57% of the total seating" (USA TODAY, 1/3). In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes asking prices for low-row club seats on the 50-yard line "reached as high as $25,000 apiece, and one seller offered a suite for $94,000." By yesterday afternoon, individual-seat prices "ranged from $2,176 to $15,961 on TickPick, $2,010 to $25,000 on StubHub, $2,000 to $15,000 on TicketMaster and $1,854 to $13,275 on Vivid Seats." TickPick Dir of Client Relations Jack Slingland said that the "average list price for a ticket to the championship game on TickPick’s resale marketplace" was $5,141 as of yesterday afternoon -- up 22% since the end of the Rose Bowl and up 205% "compared with the same point before last season’s national championship game in Tampa" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/3).

GOOD FOR THE GAME? USA TODAY's George Schroeder writes with two SEC teams advancing to the championship, the "increasing regionalization of college football’s postseason is not a good development" and is a "bad thing" for the game. When the "largest swaths of the country are regularly shut out, it’s a troubling trend." But Hancock said, “You can’t look at anything in college football as a snapshot, as a one-week or one-season snapshot. And the game has never been more popular.” Schroeder notes the CFP semifinals "drew very nice TV ratings, bolstering Hancock’s argument." But it is still to be seen "whether the championship game will be as popular" as "over the last few years, the ratings were better when the matchups aren’t concentrated in one region" (USA TODAY, 1/3). In DC, Chuck Culpepper writes college football "does benefit from its kingdoms, whether fans deem them gods or villains." It is just that "one of these days soon, even in all its raging success," the CFP might "crave more regional variety" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/3).