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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Bowl ticket sales
The old saying be careful what you wish for comes to mind for UCF’s BCS bowl aspirations.
A berth in a BCS game was the ultimate goal for Golden Knights, but UCF’s trip to the Fiesta Bowl is shaping up to be a financial nightmare for the school.
School officials were rooting hard for a Northern Illinois win in the MAC title game. That would’ve sent the Huskies to Glendale, and UCF would be playing much closer to home — either in Miami for the Orange Bowl or New Orleans for the Sugar. Alas, Northern Illinois lost, and UCF got shipped off to the Fiesta.
UCF officials announced Sunday that they have sold just 5,000 of the required 17,500 tickets. That total includes tickets for band members and player and team compensatory tickets, meaning that fewer than 5,000 tickets have actually been purchased.
In contrast, Baylor announced Tuesday it sold 9,000 tickets in its allotment the first day they were made available.
According to an Orlando Sentinel report, the Knights are on the hook for about $5.3 million in expenses, including $3.4 million for its ticket allotment and about $1.9 million in travel and other expenses. The program received $2.4 million from the American Athletic Conference for its Fiesta Bowl appearance.
Officials say the Knights will have to sell 13,000 tickets to break even financially.
UCF is making a hard push to increase ticket sales, including the unusual step of school president John Hitt sending an open letter to fans.
Ticket sales only help the program if they are purchased from UCF directly, and those prices range from $144 to $268 per seat. Meanwhile, the secondary market stocked with cheaper tickets — as of Monday afternoon, there were more than 3,400 tickets available on StubHub starting at $59.99 per ticket.
UCF expects to receive the majority of a $1 million pot set aside by the AAC to offset ticket losses by its bowl-eligible schools, and athletic director Todd Stansbury is confident the school will not take a substantial financial hit from the bowl game.
“The conference and all of my counterparts are committed to making sure … that at the end of the day the bowl experience is financially sensible,” Stansbury said. “A lot of things still have to shake out.
“I’m extremely confident that our conference, like all other major conferences, are going to make this a great experience as well as a situation where we all benefit.”
Here’s a look at tickets to the other bowl games and the cheapest currently tickets available on StubHub as of Monday afternoon.
BCS National Championship Game $618. Auburn vs. Florida State. The cheapest tickets were $850 at noon Monday. There are just over 4,000 tickets remaining.
Rose Bowl $375. Michigan State vs. Stanford. Both Stanford and Michigan State say they would’ve taken more tickets if they had been available. Big Ten commish Jim Delaney had to round up additional tickets for big money Spartans boosters. There are just over 1,600 tickets left on StubHub.
Sugar Bowl $173. Alabama vs. Oklahoma. No surprise demand is strong for this one. There are just over 2,400 tickets remaining on StubHub.
Orange Bowl $45. Clemson vs. Ohio State. Orange Bowl officials say that ticket sales have been better than expected and that there are just over 1,000 tickets remaining. But there are nearly 7,500 on StubHub, and they’re not exactly expensive.
Miltary: $83. Maryland vs. Marshall. Demand is high because the game is being played in the 34,000-seat Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
Pinstripe: $83. Rutgers vs. Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium. Enough said.
Alamo: $78. Oregon vs. Texas. Mack Brown’s last game as Texas’ head coach and an easy drive for Longhorn fans.
GoDaddy: $75. Arkansas State vs. Ball State. Think anyone is actually going to pay $75 to watch this?
Cotton: $69. Oklahoma State vs. Missouri. Missouri sold its allotment of 13,500 tickets in less than 10 minutes. Oklahoma State is going to sell its allotment, too.
Outback: $65. LSU vs. Iowa. Demand from LSU fans is tepid, and the school has resorted to offering prize giveaways to spur sales. Iowa’s interest is strong, with reported sales of 10,000 of its 11,500 allotment.
Capital One: $51. Wisconsin vs. South Carolina. Both of these fan bases travel well, but is this a letdown for Badgers fans after three-straight Rose Bowls?
Little Caesars Pizza: $50. Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh. $50 for Bowling Green and Pitt. Really?
Beef O’Brady’s: $49. East Carolina vs. Ohio. See above.
Heart of Dallas: $46. North Texas vs. UNLV. North Texas is happy while UNLV officials are already acknowledging a likely $200,000 deficit.
Kraft Fight Hunger: $42. BYU and Washington.
New Orleans: $40. Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Tulane. The in-state battle is great for the bowl. ULL says it could sell 21,000 tickets to the game.
Gator: $39. Nebraska vs, Georgia in a Florida bowl for the second-straight year. Nebraska has only sold 2,759 tickets out of a contracted 12,750. Georgia has sold about 7,000 out of 15,000.
Belk: $38. Cincinnati vs. North Carolina.
New Mexico: $36. Washington State has sold 4,148 tickets, but Colorado State has only peddled 2,100.
Holiday: $32. Texas Tech vs. Arizona State.
Russell Athletic: $29. Miami vs. Louisville. You think the ‘Canes or Cardinals had the the Russell Athletic Bowl in mind a few months ago?
Buffalo Wild Wings: $28. Kansas State vs. Michigan.
BBVA Compass: $26. Vanderbilt vs. Houston. Vanderbilt has sold out its initial allotment of 10,000 tickets.
Poinsettia: $26. Northern Illinois vs. Utah State.
Liberty: $23. Rice vs. Mississippi State.
Armed Forces: $22. Middle Tennessee State vs. Navy.
Sun: $21. UCLA vs. Virginia Tech.
Hawaii: $19. Boise State vs Oregon State.
Music City: $10. Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech. The Rebels sold 12,223 tickets to the Music City Bowl. The school was required to purchase 12,000.
Las Vegas: $9. USC vs. Fresno State. Both USC and Fresno State were allotted 11,000 tickets. Fresno has sold 7,000 while USC has only moved about 5,000.
Chick-Fil-A: $9. Duke vs. Texas A&M. Duke is giving its students free tickets.
AdvoCare V100: $7. Arizona vs. Boston College in Shreveport. Frankly, I’m surprised they’re $7.
Famous Idaho Potato: $6. San Diego State vs. Buffalo. Both schools have allotments of 8,000 tickets. SDSU has stated its meager goal is to sell 2,500. So far, they’re only halfway there.
Texas: $4. Minnesota vs. Syracuse in Houston. Ouch.