Would You Spend $1,500 to See a College Football Game?

Photo (cc) by IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION

This Saturday kicks off the college football bowl season, with a mind-numbing 35 games being played through Jan. 11, when the University of Oregon Ducks and the Auburn University Tigers play for the national championship.

That averages out to nearly 1.5 bowl games per day. Why so many?

Can you say “money”? Not only do the participating schools get a cut of the lucrative TV contracts to broadcast the games – ESPN paid $500 million for the privilege a couple years ago – but they also get a cut of the tickets sales. And those aren’t cheap.

Less than half a dozen bowl games have ticket prices under $100, according to Ticket City. The best value? East Carolina vs. Maryland in the Military Bowl. The most expensive is that national title game between Oregon and Auburn – currently selling at $1,300 apiece.

Add to that the cost of getting to the championship game in Glendale, Ariz., and an avid fan of either team is out at least $1,500.

In fact, travel website Priceline has crunched the numbers and estimates the average flight and hotel cost of one bowl fan to top $580. Then there are the $5 hot dogs and $7 beers at the game itself. Or you can stay home and watch TV for free…

Would you pay $1,500 for a seat to see your favorite school play?

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