College Football Playoffs: How Do the Bowl Prices Stack Up?
In the first year of the new College Football Playoff format, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will serve as the two semifinal games before the championship. Therefore, ticket prices for these two matchups are significantly higher than other bowl games, with the Alabama-Ohio State game averaging $461 on the resale market and the Oregon-Florida State game going for $334 on average. Prices for the Sugar Bowl have increased by over $100 since Ohio State was unexpectedly selected. Conversely, prices for the Rose Bowl have declined by $100 since the participants were announced, with Florida State fans seemingly unwilling to travel west for a second consecutive year.
The most expensive bowl game without playoff implications is currently the Cotton Bowl between Michigan State and Baylor with an average price of $221. The game will be held at AT&T Stadium, and this close proximity to Baylor has fans heading to the secondary market despite the playoff snub. Prices actually fell from $253 after Baylor officially missed the cut, but the game is still in high demand. Fans have purchased over 8,000 tickets on the secondary market since the bowl schedule was released, ranking as the third most popular ticket on the resale market since the announcement. Although the Bears are located less than two hours from Fort Worth, prices are actually down relative to last season, when tickets were going for $280 on this date to see Oklahoma State and Missouri.
With an average price of $141, the Fiesta Bowl between Arizona and Boise State are relatively less expensive than previous years and is currently on pace to be the cheapest Fiesta Bowl in our database. At this time last year, tickets to see Baylor and UCF were going for $235 on the resale market, 67% more than tickets for this year. Only the 2011 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and UConn posted a comparable average ticket price at this time, with tickets going for $151 on this date in 2010. The average later fell to $108, and one can expect that ticket prices for this year’s game will plunge as well.
The Chick Fil A Peach Bowl (aka the Peach Bowl aka the Chick Fil A Bowl) features Ole Miss and TCU, two teams ranked in the top ten nationally. However, with TCU outside the playoff picture and Ole Miss dropping three of their last five games, demand is considerably lower than one would expect. This year’s Chick Fil A Bowl ranks just 20th out of all bowl games in terms of quantity of tickets purchased on the resale market. Several bowls you’ve probably never heard of, including the Belk Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl, and the Las Vegas Bowl rank ahead of the Peach Bowl in quantity of tickets purchased. The game takes place at the Georgia Dome, a significant trek for both teams, and this could also factor into these historically low sales.
This year’s Orange Bowl features Georgia Tech and Mississippi State, and tickets are currently going for an average of $100 on the secondary market. This represents a 41% decrease from this time last year when tickets averaged $171 to see Ohio State and Clemson. At the same time, tickets are 53% more expensive than two years ago when Florida State played Northern Illinois and tickets went for $65 at this time.