Yesterday LSU and Alabama both won to set up the SEC’s first ever #1 vs. #2 showdown. Today CBS announced that it was taking the extraordinary step of moving a 2:30 central telecast to primetime at seven in the evening. The South is already treating the game — which comes with a convenient bye week to increase the hype — as a Super Bowl. By the time gameday arrives in Tuscaloosa, it will be like Mardi Gras in November. This game has the potential to be talked about for generations.
That’s why it was surprising that the ticket market isn’t that hot yet.
Particularly when you consider the fervency of the LSU and Alabama fan bases. Given that Tuscaloosa is an easy five hour drive from Baton Rouge and only four hours from New Orleans, the get-in price for the game isn’t bad at all.
That’s much less than face value for a Super Bowl ticket. It also pales in comparison to the thousands of dollars that Fiesta Bowl tickets were selling for last year between Auburn and Oregon.
Of course, those $365 seats are in the upper deck and you’ll pay much more for good quality: Right now tickets in the exclusive Ivory Club are being offered for $5,000 each.
But right now the ticket market is much more reasonable than I was expecting. That price point, while steep, is affordable for a huge portion of each fan base. Especially because so many fans can drive to the game, eliminating an additional high cost that could deter many.
But if you really want to think about it, what if Alabama had dynamic pricing for a game such as this and was able to sell tickets to this game like a concert instead of as part of a season ticket package? (I know there is a donation requirement to buy the better tickets, but most donation requirements aren’t huge). If tickets could be sold for an average of $400 each — which would be easy to accomplish since the best tickets would be $3-$4k each — Alabama could raise $40 million just from this game.
That’s just off gate receipts.
Games like this don’t come around too often, but it’s amazing to think about how much money will be made by ticket brokers exploiting the gap between face value and actual value.
During my travels around the SEC for the Dixieland Delight tour and since I’ve come to see StubHub as a handy guide for what I can expect to pay for tickets on gameday. If you’re willing to show up without tickets — which I often am — you can typically buy seats for about half what the StubHub price suggets. That’s because people are paying more for the safety and convenience of arriving on gameday with tickets.
StubHub’s LSU-Bama ticket costs for are similar to what the South’s largest provider of SEC tickets — AAATix is charging.
We’ll keep tabs on the ticket market for you as we count down the days until November 5th. OKTC will be there for this one and we’re as excited as y’all are for the biggest regular season SEC game I can ever remember.
So excited that we need to name the game.
I’ve got four suggestions below, but I know one of y’all is going to come up with a genius name that catches fire and takes over ESPN’s hype machine:
1. Super Beauxl
2. The BCS Title Game
3. Merry NickLes
4. The Grass Bowl
See if you can beat these names in the comments. I know y’all can.