Monday's Bowl Championship Series title game between LSU and Alabama is already a blockbuster -- in ticket sales. StubHub, the ticket-resale site, reported late Friday that the median price for a ticket to the college football championship was $1,565, compared to $925 for last year's Auburn-Oregon matchup. This year's game is trending toward generating the highest ticket prices in college football history, StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer said.
So much for one official's opinion that the economy is hurting college bowl-game ticket sales. "Fans don't have the money to travel to see a game," Tom Starr, executive director of the TicketCity Bowl, told CNN.
The exorbitant prices are due to a combination of factors, Ferrer said. The game is in New Orleans, a festive tourist destination near Baton Rouge-based LSU and even Tuscaloosa-based Alabama, just 266 miles away. Plus, the two teams generated extra publicity after a much-hyped 9 to 6 LSU victory over Southeastern Conference rival Alabama during the regular season.
The 2008 BCS game between Ohio State and LSU -- one of the most expensive title games -- had a median single-ticket cost of $1,150 on the secondary market while generating a high of $4,300 and a low of $275. The absolute cheapest ticket for this year was sold for $500, Ferrer said. The most expensive ticket went for a whopping $9,600 on Jan. 5.
That makes it easy to predict the winner of the big game: scalpers.