August 9, 2007

You will pay a premium to see top games


Want to go to the Notre Dame-Penn State game? You'd better start saving your money.

That Sept. 8 game at Beaver Stadium is currently the hottest ticket of the 2007 college football season, according to ticket broker agency - which unveiled a list this week of the 50 college football games drawing the most interest.

As of Monday, the release issued by indicated that the average Notre Dame-Penn State ticket price at brokerage sites across the country was $1,100. A fan could get into the stadium for as "little as" $550.

Although neither team appears in the top 10 of the preseason ESPN-USA Today poll - Notre Dame isn't even in the Top 25 - the interest in the Notre Dame-Penn State game doesn't surprise vice president of marketing Zach Anderson.

Anderson points out that the ticket prices for annual rivalries such as Florida-Florida State can rise or fall depending on how each team is faring that particular season. That's not necessarily true of non-traditional matchups between high-profile teams.

"If you look at our top 10, it's a Who's Who of big rivalry games," Anderson said. "But it's always the games where certain teams are playing that haven't played in a while that generate the most interest."

Notre Dame defeated Penn State 41-17 last year, but that marked the first time these two traditional powers had faced each other since 1992. The Irish haven't faced the Nittany Lions at Penn State since 1991.

Notre Dame's absence from preseason polls hasn't affected the Irish's standing as one of college football's top draws. Four of the five toughest tickets on this list involve Notre Dame.

The Ohio State-Michigan game ranks second with an average price of $1,000. That's followed by the Oct. 20 Southern California-Notre Dame showdown ($950 average), the Sept. 15 Notre Dame-Michigan game ($696) and the Oct. 13 Boston College-Notre Dame matchup ($661).

"Every year we see that with Notre Dame," Anderson said. "Notre Dame's a huge draw wherever they go. For home games, the prices are higher because it's extremely difficult to get season tickets at South Bend."

Anderson pointed out that the ticket prices for each of these games still could rise or fall over the course of the season.

For example, the ticket prices for last year's Ohio State-Michigan game rose significantly when it started becoming apparent both teams would head into their regular-season finale with perfect records. Even the least expensive tickets to that game had reached $1,100 in the week leading up to Ohio State's 42-39 victory.

"Other than bowl games, that's one of the hottest games we've seen in years," Anderson said.

Toughest tickets
The top 50 highest priced tickets for college football games this season by average price according to ticket broker agency
RankGameDateLocationAverage price
1Penn State vs. Notre DameSeptember 8State College, Pa. $1,100.00
2Michigan vs. Ohio StateNovember 17Ann Arbor, Mich. $1,000.00
3Notre Dame vs. USCOctober 20South Bend, Ind. $950.00
4Michigan vs. Notre DameSeptember 15Ann Arbor, Mich. $696.00
5Notre Dame vs. Boston CollegeOctober 13South Bend, Ind. $661.00
6Florida vs. Florida StateNovember 24Gainesville, Fla. $581.00
7Auburn vs. AlabamaNovember 24Auburn, Ala. $571.00
8Texas vs. OklahomaOctober 6Dallas $555.00
9Georgia vs. FloridaOctober 27Jacksonville, Fla. $515.00
10Nebraska vs. USCSeptember 15Lincoln, Neb. $505.00
11Penn State vs. Ohio StateOctober 27State College, Pa. $504.00
12Rutgers vs. West VirginiaOctober 27Piscataway, N.J. $495.00
13Florida vs. TennesseeSeptember 15Gainesville, Fla. $455.00
14USC vs. UCLADecember 1Los Angeles $440.00
15Ohio State vs. WisconsinNovember 3Columbus, Ohio $429.00
16Alabama vs. LSUNovember 3Tuscaloosa, Ala. $428.00
17LSU vs. FloridaOctober 6Baton Rouge, La. $426.00
18Texas A&M vs. TexasNovember 23College Station, Texas $402.00
19Florida State vs. AlabamaSeptember 29Jacksonville, Fla. $400.00
20West Virginia vs. LouisvilleNovember 8Morgantown, W.Va. $379.00
21UCLA vs. Notre DameOctober 6Los Angeles $344.00
22Wisconsin vs. MichiganNovember 10Madison, Wis. $335.00
23Cal vs. USCNovember 10Berkeley, Calif. $328.00
24Iowa State vs. IowaSeptember 15Ames, Iowa $322.00
25LSU vs. AuburnOctober 20Baton Rouge, La. $310.00
26Louisville vs. RutgersNovember 29Louisville, Ky. $305.00
27Georgia Tech vs. GeorgiaNovember 24Atlanta $302.00
28Penn State vs. WisconsinOctober 13State College, Pa. $286.00
29Michigan State vs. MichiganNovember 3East Lansing, Mich. $276.00
30Florida State vs. MiamiOctober 20Tallahassee, Fla. $265.00
31Oklahoma vs. MiamiSeptember 8Norman, Okla. $265.00
32Oregon vs. Oregon StateDecember 1Eugene, Ore. $265.00
33Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma StateNovember 24Norman, Okla. $248.00
34Texas Tech vs. Texas A&MOctober 13Lubbock, Texas $237.00
35Colorado vs. NebraskaNovember 23Boulder, Colo. $231.00
36Tulane vs. LSUSeptember 29New Orleans $228.00
37Texas vs. NebraskaOctober 27Austin, Texas $227.00
38Virginia Tech vs. Boston CollegeOctober 25Blacksburg, Va. $227.00
39LSU vs. ArkansasNovember 23Baton Rouge, La. $225.00
40Washington vs. Ohio StateSeptember 15Seattle $222.00
41Alabama vs. ArkansasSeptember 15Tuscaloosa, Ala. $221.00
42Miami vs. Texas A&MSeptember 20Miami $220.00
43Georgia vs. Oklahoma StateSeptember 1Athens, Ga. $212.00
44Cal vs. TennesseeSeptember 1Berkeley, Calif. $195.00
45Washington vs. Washington StateNovember 24Seattle $186.00
46Stanford vs. Notre DameNovember 24Palo Alto, Calif. $186.00
47Kentucky vs. LouisvilleSeptember 15Lexington, Ky. $179.00
48Arkansas vs. AuburnOctober 13Fayettevile, Ark. $175.00
49Nebraska vs. Texas A&MOctober 20Lincoln, Neb. $175.00
50Texas vs. TCUSeptember 8Austin, Texas $168.00
Data is from August 2007. All prices are per ticket.
Price is from Secondary Ticket Market tickets listed on Web site.

Steve Megargee is a national writer for He can be reached at

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