SEC Championship Ticket Prices Plummet
The inaugural march toward a College Football Playoff has been dominated by the SEC all season, so it’s a bit strange to see the crown jewel of the conference season generating so little interest as the Alabama Crimson Tide and Missouri Tigers football teams descend on the Georgia Dome for this weekend’s SEC Championship game. Now that Mississippi State, Auburn and Ole Miss have moved aside during the brutal SEC West schedule, Alabama is the last team standing with a playoff hope, albeit as the number one seed in the penultimate rankings from the committee. This season’s drive toward a title has been led uncharacteristically by an explosive offense and sometimes unreliable defense, but it appears to most pundits that Heisman hopeful Amari Cooper in company will be too much for Missouri to handle.
The Tigers’ second straight SEC East tile was far from predictable, with a reloaded Georgia team expected to run away with a division short on star power from perennial contenders such as Florida and South Carolina. Missouri proved to be resilient, however, and overcame divisional challenges when the Bulldogs and others failed to persevere week to week. With their title hopes on the line, they overcame a resurgent Arkansas club to officially stake claim to another SEC East banner. They’ll have to overcome their toughest opponent of the season in Atlanta if they’re to win their first SEC title, but it doesn’t look like many fans are buying into seeing the upset bid in person.
This is the cheapest tickets have been for the SEC Championship game in at least five years since SeatGeek began tracking prices on the secondary market. For the first time since 2011, we’re seeing tickets listed for less than the face value of $100 a full three days before the game. The cheapest seat available right now is listed for $80; in the previous two years, the starting price on the Wednesday before the game has been $223 for Auburn-Missouri in 2013 and $300 for Georgia-Alabama in 2012.
Since Monday, fans have paid an average of $191 for an SEC Championship game ticket, down 45% from $349 in 2013 and down almost 60% from $447 in 2012. Tickets in the lower level can be found for as little as $116 apiece in Section 125 behind the end zone, and even prime lower-level seats near midfield can be found for under $200.
SEC Championship Game Tickets – Georgia Dome
Ticket Demand for Alabama – Missouri SEC Football Championship
It seems as though Alabama fans are saving up for a trip to the Sugar Bowl, where the Crimson Tide will play in a national semifinal game as part of the new College Football Playoff (assuming they are victorious in the SEC Championship game). Demand is at a five-year high for the Sugar Bowl with an average resale price of $358, up more than 30% from $266 this time last season.
Demand for the SEC Championship game is also down from Missouri fans, who watched their team lose in last year’s SEC Championship game and know they are once again a heavy underdog in this year’s matchup with Alabama. Less than 10% of fans buying tickets on the secondary market are from Missouri, compared to 35% from Alabama and another 25% from the game’s home state of Georgia. Despite the huge dip in prices this year, the SEC Championship game remains the most expensive ticket among the four major conference championships.
Here’s a breakdown of the average ticket price (and cheapest ticket available on the secondary market) for each game:
- SEC (Alabama vs. Missouri at Georgia Dome): $191 ($80)
- Big Ten (Ohio State vs. Wisconsin at Lucas Oil Stadium): $120 ($45)
- ACC (Florida State vs. Georgia Tech at Bank of America Stadium): $98 ($28)
- Pac-12 (Oregon vs. Arizona at Levi’s Stadium): $95 ($21)