Following New Years Day, the stage was set for an all-SEC College Football Championship Game. Writers, viewers and media prepared their yawns far in advance for a game predicted to be boring, low-scoring and defensively focused. But as the Georgia hangovers fade, and the emotions loosen, we can rest easy knowing things aren’t too much different. When we return in the fall, Nick Saban will still be the King of College Football and Alabama will likely be the preseason No. 1.
So as we reflect on another incredible year in College Football, we take a look at the games this year that brought the highest demand. Here’s a hint: it was EXPENSIVE to be a Georgia Bulldog’s fan.
#5. The Iron Bowl – Alabama at Auburn – $501 Average Ticket Price
The Iron Bowl this year held heavy implications, as it so often does. Sitting at No. 5 is rare for this game. The heavy rivalry in the state that claims football as a religion and way of life usually sits in one of the top two spots when talking demand of a ticket. The only game that consistently meets the demand of the Iron Bowl is “The Game”, on the same weekend, when Michigan and Ohio State meet. Michigan vs. Ohio State didn’t even make the top 5 this year. You can thank the SEC for that.
#4. Kentucky at Georgia – $523 Average Ticket Price
This might be obvious for dedicated college football fans, but it’s rare that Kentucky would be the team bringing demand. The reason Kentucky at Georgia makes the top 5 likely is timing. A late November game leading up to the weeks of the SEC Championship and Selection Sunday. It was a chance for Georgia fans to see them play one last time in this storied season. The demand to watch Georgia once, knowing you might not be able to afford the high ticket prices of the SEC Championship, Rose Bowl and National Championship drove this game to No. 4 on the list.
#3. Michigan at Wisconsin – $541 Average Ticket Price
When the undefeated 5th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers entered this game against the 19th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, College Gameday was headed to Madison and CFB Playoff hopes were still alive.
(Photo via: Ticketmaster)
#2. Alabama vs. Florida State – $550 Average Ticket Price
To no surprise at all, the first game played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, was the place to be on opening weekend of college football. No. 1 versus No. 2. A Heisman Trophy contender versus Nick Saban and the Tide. Both campuses within a few hours of the site and the hype of 200-plus days of waiting. Describing the demand for this game is easy: it had everything you hope for in a college football game.
#1. Georgia at Notre Dame – $580 Average Ticket Price
Many Georgia fans will tell you this was the moment that Kirby Smart truly came into his own as head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. He was no longer the head coach who lacked emotion and resembled “Sabanesque” qualities on the sidelines. Bulldog fans crashed the ticket market and turned Notre Dame Stadium into a neutral site. Historically, Georgia fans have always traveled well. The reoccurring schedule of Georgia does not give them the opportunity to do so often, besides their neutral-site games in Florida and against in-state rival Georgia Tech. So when gifted the opportunity, they accept the challenge.