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Alabama Vs. Clemson IV: Is The Clash Of Titans Worth The Price Of Admission?

Alabama Vs. Clemson IV: Is The Clash Of Titans Worth The Price Of Admission?

As exciting as Monday's NCAA Football Championship game is expected to be, one thing is clear: the location is less than ideal.

Secondary ticket prices for the Alabama and Clemson matchup at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California show a dramatic decrease from last year’s national championship.

The average ticket price is $615 and the cheapest tickets are going for just $126, according to TicketIQ data. This pales in comparison to last year’s championship game in Atlanta, where the low end was $1,752 and the average ticket price was a whopping $4,040.

“Tickets are definitely going to get below $100 — it's going to be cheaper than the Citrus Bowl, a totally meaningless bowl game,” said TicketIQ's Jesse Lawrence.


Infographic courtesy of TicketIQ.

The decision to host the championship game away from the college football-heavy south was about expanding the footprint of the sport, but it evidently comes with the drawback of weak turnout.

With both teams residing in the Southeast, Lawrence said the audience that can afford to take off work, pay the $1,500 nonstop fare from Atlanta to the Bay Area and drop an additional $500 on hotels is a small one.

"If you're the NCAA, you have to evaluate the potential expansion versus serving your existing market. From a ticketing standpoint, it is a very low-demand event, but from a TV standpoint it is very cheap content for Disney,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence is referencing the monopoly The Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) has on college football content, airing 35 of the 40 bowl games this year.

Weak ticket demand for the championship game will likely put additional pressure on the NCAA to make some changes, most importantly toward an eight-team playoff. The challenge: the legacy of many of the bowl games makes that difficult.

“Because college football leadership is unwilling to confront the bowl industry, they are forced to contort the tournament. The playoff was curbed at four teams in part because the bowl lobby didn’t want home sites used for the first round. That limits participation,” said Yahoo sports journalist Dan Wetzel.

Although the venue will likely go down as a bust in terms of fan attendance, one thing the playoffs got right this year was ensuring that the two best teams are facing off for a national championship. And given the strength of SEC football, it's a positive sign that next year’s championship game will be held in New Orleans.

The National Championship game kicks off 8 p.m. Monday on ESPN.

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Levi's Stadium photo by Matthew Roth/Wikimedia.

Posted-In: Alabama Clemson Dan WetzelNews Sports Events Top Stories General Best of Benzinga


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