Ticket prices continue to soar for UGA’s national title game


Ticket prices for college football’s national championship game in Atlanta increased from already lofty levels in the aftermath of the Georgia Bulldogs’ stirring Rose Bowl victory. 

With a Georgia-Alabama matchup set for the title game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday, the lowest price to get in the building hovered around $2,000 on several ticket resale sites Tuesday. And that was for upper-level end-zone seats. 

At the other end of the spectrum, asking prices for low-row club seats at the 50-yard line reached as high as $25,000 apiece, and one seller offered a suite for $94,000. 

Demand was so strong from Georgia fans that secondary marketplace StubHub’s page for championship-game tickets briefly crashed after the Bulldogs’ 54-48 victory over Oklahoma on Monday night

By Tuesday afternoon, individual-seat prices ranged from $2,176 to $15,961 on TickPick, $2,010 to $25,000 on StubHub, $2,000 to $15,000 on TicketMaster and $1,854 to $13,275 on Vivid Seats.

“It’s craziness, for sure,” said Jack Slingland, director of client relations for TickPick.

He said the average list price for a ticket to the championship game on TickPick’s resale marketplace was a whopping $5,141 as of Tuesday afternoon -- up 22 percent since the end of the Rose Bowl and up 205 percent compared with the same point before last season’s national championship game in Tampa. 

Slingland said the main factors driving prices to the highest level in the four-year history of the College Football Playoff are Georgia’s long drought since its last national championship in the 1980 season and next Monday’s game being played in Atlanta, about 70 miles from the UGA campus and about 200 miles from the Alabama campus.

“When you eliminate the need for flights and hotels for a large chunk of fans,” Slingland said, “you can end up with these sort of ticket prices.” 

Vince Thompson, CEO and founder of Atlanta-based sports marketing firm Melt, accurately predicted several weeks ago that ticket prices would rise to current levels if Georgia won the Rose Bowl. 

“It would be the perfect storm of emotion and proximity,” Thompson said at the time. “I would say it … would rank up as one of the most expensive tickets of all time in Atlanta.” 

Secondary-market prices fluctuate by the minute as the balance plays out between buyers and sellers, and Slingland said it’s hard to predict how the market will move between now and kickoff.

“Right now, there isn’t anything I’m seeing that would indicate it’s going to come down drastically,” Slingland said. “It looks like it’s going to level out and stick right around here with a get-in price slightly above $2,000. But we’ll know a lot more after we get past the 24-48 hour mark of the matchup being set and things settle down a bit.” 

Championship-game ticket prices began to rise immediately after Georgia earned a playoff berth by winning the SEC title game Dec. 2, with the average list price on TickPick climbing 58 percent over the following 10 days.

The average purchase price is less than the average asking price at this point because of more demand for the (relatively) less expensive seats. But Vivid Seats said the average amount paid for tickets sold on its site from the end of the Rose Bowl through early Tuesday afternoon was $3,037, up 37 percent from an average of $2,218 for tickets that changed hands previously.

Not all fans at the championship game will have to pay the inflated secondary-market prices, of course. 

Each of the two participating schools received 20,000 tickets, representing a combined 57 percent of the seating inventory, according to College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock. The schools sold most of their allotments to donors and season-ticket holders at face price, which ranges from $375 to $875. 

In addition, Hancock said 24 percent of the seats were sold to the public through a combination of official hospitality packages, a random ticket drawing and an “RSVP” program in which fans bought the right to purchase tickets if their team reached the game. Another 12 percent of the tickets went to CFP “partners and constituents,” including ESPN, corporate sponsors and the local host committee, Hancock said. The final 7 percent went to Mercedes-Benz Stadium suite holders and holders of the Falcons’ most expensive personal seat licenses, he said. 

But thousands of tickets have found their way to the secondary market for resale, and prices there are driven by supply and demand.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Despite doping scandals, Olympic fever grips Russian cinemas
Despite doping scandals, Olympic fever grips Russian cinemas

Russia's going crazy for the Olympics. The 1972 Olympics.  Even as the Russian team faces up to being barred from next month's Winter Games for doping offenses, audiences are flocking to see a movie about Soviet glory on the Olympic basketball court 46 years ago.  "Three Seconds" tells the story of the Soviet Union team which won...
Her Olympic dream almost died, but she's heading to Pyeongchang after all
Her Olympic dream almost died, but she's heading to Pyeongchang after all

Her Olympic dream was years in the making, but even when Haley Skarupa finally received the long-awaited news, it took some time to process. For months her journey felt like it was both pointed in the right direction and also filled with trap doors. "It was sort of a whirlwind. I didn't know what to feel at the time," she said. "It was...
Freestyler Voisin returns to Olympics after breaking ankle
Freestyler Voisin returns to Olympics after breaking ankle

Maggie Voisin was determined. She was going to walk in the opening ceremony.  So, with her freshly broken ankle in a freshly fitted walking boot, she did — choking back the emotion from a day that could only be labeled as devastating.  Hours earlier, in a practice on the slopestyle course, the 15-year-old freeskier bailed out of a rail...
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida
US aims to groom tennis champs at national campus in Florida

Drive past the strip malls with their fast-food chains, past the fast-rising McMansions, past the palm trees lined up just so along green, green grass about 25 miles east of Walt Disney World, and eventually a sign arises, announcing in capital letters, "USTA National Campus, the home of American tennis."  Welcome to the 65-acre, 100-court...
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018
A crowded Cubs outfield has plenty to prove in 2018

After Ben Zobrist earned his second straight ring and was named the World Series MVP in 2016, you can't blame him for taking some time to relax last offseason. But that's old news. Zobrist, who turns 37 in May, is coming off a subpar season and doesn't know how he will be used this year in Joe Maddon's revolving-door lineup. So Zobrist took only 10...
More Stories