Ticket prices for games with ranked teams, Week 11

For a long time I’ve wondered how ticket prices and a team’s ranking are correlated. The prices are no doubt impacted by quality of opponent, but is there a baseline entry price dependent on the ranking, regardless of opponent? I’ll chart this the rest of the season and have aggregate results, but for now let’s look at ticket prices for games involving top 25 teams. Note the entry price is the minimum price for tickets on Stubhub as of 8:30AM ET the day before the Week 11 games.

Week Home Rank Home team Opp Opp Rank Entry price
11 5 Iowa Minnesota 218
11 17 Mississippi St Alabama 2 205
11 6 Baylor Oklahoma 12 153
11 4 Notre Dame Wake Forest 107
11 South Carolina Florida 11 78
11 9 LSU Arkansas 57
11 7 Stanford Oregon 55
11 Illinois Ohio St 3 55
11 19 UCLA Washington St 49
11 20 Navy SMU 48
11 Indiana Michigan 14 44
11 Iowa St Oklahoma St 8 41
11 Syracuse Clemson 1 39
11 24 Houston Memphis 21 38
11 South Florida Temple 22 35
11 16 Florida St North Carolina St 31
11 23 North Carolina Miami 27
11 Arizona Utah 10 24
11 18 Northwestern Purdue 22
11 15 TCU Kansas 17
11 13 Michigan St Maryland 9

A few things caught my attention right away. Iowa fans are very excited about their team and this week’s night game. I would’ve guessed the Miss St/Alabama and Baylor/Oklahoma games would rank ahead of this one. Notre Dame home games are an expensive ticket and the opponent does not matter.

The most interesting observation, however, is Michigan St commanding just $9 the day before the game. Michigan St is one bad call away from being undefeated and likely a top 8ish team, yet it costs more to see any other game involving a ranked team, and in many cases it costs more to see two unranked teams play. Granted, Maryland isn’t very good, but $9 to see the 13th ranked team in the country play seems out of whack. High schools charge that much for football games. Perhaps Maryland is really bringing the price down, so let’s look at their home finale with a team on the fringe of the top 25, Penn St. As of this writing, those tickets start at just $10. Why does nobody care about going to see Michigan St play at home? It is a much tougher ticket to see the Spartans play on the road, as the tickets to see Michigan St play in Columbus are currently going for $135 and up, so it seems like a bargain to catch them at home twice for a fraction of the cost.

I’ll keep an eye on this the rest of the season as the market continues to change.

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