If you can’t beat ‘em, match ‘em.

I’m not linking to this article to mock the fact that Florida is lagging behind Louisville in Sugar Bowl ticket sales – it’s a nice bonus, admittedly, but I doubt that the Gator fans will find themselves outnumbered in New Orleans – but because I wonder if Louisville isn’t on to something.

As of Friday, Louisville had sold more than 14,000 of its allotment of 17,500 tickets while the Gators had sold about only 6,500.

Thanks to a donation from Papa John’s Pizza, headquartered in Louisville, the Cardinals will likely come close to selling them all.

Louisville announced Friday that Papa John’s donation will push terrace – or 600 level – seats down from a cost of $135 to $65. Cardinals’ assistant athletic director Amy Blevins-Morgan said the school sent out an e-mail blast Friday morning and already a large number of Cardinals fans had responded.

What that’s done is essentially to allow Louisville to match prices with the secondary ticket market.

Blevins-Morgan and Florida officials said the secondary ticket market is tough competition. Secondary ticket brokers, like Stubhub, Ticketexchange and Ticketcity, have plenty of Sugar Bowl tickets on their web sites and most are cheaper than the face value of the seats.

Stubhub, for instance, had about 3,800 tickets for sale on its website Sunday afternoon, beginning at $36 for Terrace corner level seats. Even lower level seats, for Plaza Sideline 112 as an example, were priced at $155. Tickets for the Sugar Bowl range from $135 to $200 at face value.

“We want to have a great representation,’’ Blevins-Morgan said Friday. “I know there will be a lot of Cardinal fans there. I know we’ve been competing with that secondary market so this (Papa John’s donation) will help us with that last push of tickets to be able to be competitive with what people can buy on the secondary market.’’

If you’re a school stuck with selling off a mandatory bowl game ticket allotment – and each of these schools has to sell 17,500 tickets – doesn’t it make sense to fight fire with fire?  Better to sell thousands of tickets at a discount than to eat their cost in toto.  Or, in Louisville’s case, if you can get a wealthy backer of the program to pitch in, so much the better.

25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

25 responses to “If you can’t beat ‘em, match ‘em.

  1. If congress wants a worthwhile endeavor, then it should go after and shut down the secondary ticket brokers. Complete ass-hats and rip-off artists.

    • Reggie

      In what possible way can you say that? About the only thing that works right IMO.

    • Dawg in Beaumont

      Not sure if serious.

      If so, please tell me who is getting “ripped-off” by stubhub or other legitimate secondary ticket brokers? I’m sure there are shady places that take your cash with no ticket given, but the real ones are as straight-forward as it gets in my experience.

    • tduga1

      So an individual voluntarily enters an agreement to buy a ticket at a posted price and they are being ripped off? Really?

      • Macallanlover

        My thoughts exactly, just what we need is Congress to get into the private market where supply/demand works. Could someone really prefer to let the schools and Sugar Bowls officials have total control. Here is your mush, eat it sucka! Lord save us from those who want capitalism eliminated and intstitutional control to dictate life to us poor subjects.

    • Beer Money

      As a ticket broker myself, first of all BigSam, your point is absolutely absurd. Who is getting “ripped off” when you can get a $135 ticket for $36? Only morons buy these big bowls to resell anyway. They are too expensive to start with and the matchup is usually garbage (this year being no different).

      The same goes for 90% of all events. MOST events do not sell out and they sell for a loss on the secondary. So buyers come out ahead by buying there rather than greedy Ticketmaster, etc. There is nothing we do that is any different than buying a stock and waiting for it to appreciate except that people have an emotional attachment to event tickets.

      But this speaks volumes of America in 2012. When people feel they are entitled to something (particularly that they have an emotional attachment to) and don’t get it, they stomp their feet and act like babies when things don’t go their way and demand that the government help the poor and the pitiful.

      Anytime there is one of these teenybopper shows that every kid in North America wants to go see, there’s never enough tix to go around unless the act plays stadiums to meet demand. Therefore, everybody wants to go and prices soar. Let’s say that your kids happen to be One Direction fans (which many are) and want to attend the show in June at Philips Arena. There are roughly 4 million people in the metro Atlanta area and at least several hundred thousand kids that fit their target demo. Philips Arena will probably sit around 18,000 for this show. You see why prices soar now?

      Also, do feel ripped off when you can get a ticket on the bridge at Sanford for pretty much any game for less than $10 if not free? If the government stepped in and regulated all of this, then the $10 deals would be illegal and the only way you’d get tickets is if you donated and had seasons, were faculty/staff or a student. Otherwise, you aren’t getting in.

      • Uh, more to the point, if a guy wants to score two tix to the Van Halen reunion tour, or buy four Beiber tickets for his daugher, or six tickets to Jason Aldean at the Fox or four tickets to any upcoming event, EVERY SINGLE GOOD TICKET IN THE HOUSE has been scooped up by secondary ticket brokers! How? Only the lord knows, because you can be at your computer the very second they go on sale and not be able to get seats. I don’t get it. No way to explain it other than the brokers are in collusion, pre-plan their venues via price fixing and use monopoly tactics to ‘lock out’ legitimate ticket buyers. It stinks and I think its a scam.

        And yes, I realize that if I don’t like it I don’t have to buy them. No shit. My concern is that I never got the chance to buy/bid/score the good seats because the scalpers surreptitiously bought them all without the general public ever having a fart in the fight.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    I’m going to go home tonight and order up a Papa John’s pizza and add some cheesy bread. Anything to pitch in to the anti-Gator war effort.

  3. Uglydawg

    If you’ve ever been to Louisville, then you understand that very little incentive is needed to go somewhere else for a few days…or forever.
    I don’t know how large the school is, or how large its alum base, but it has to be smaller than UF’s. But this has to be a much bigger and more exciting opportunity for L’ville and fans that it is for the Gator Nation. I’m looking forward to watching it on the tube. As much as I hate UF, I usually pull fot the SEC team..but I would love to see Muschamp sweating it out.

  4. FU should be asking,where is gatoraid when you need them? LOL

    • Cojones

      Doesn’t FU own most of Gatorade? One of their Professors came up with it in the late 60s, I think. I’m sure he was rewarded, but his time and inventions were owned by FU as long as he was working there. Let them spend some of that money…. oh wait…. isn’t their Gov still cutting their budget (hence the demise of their Computer Science Dept) as a public university?

      It gets curiouser and curiouser.

  5. $200 for a Sugar Bowl seat? I think the conferences ought to consider pushing back a little on these ticket prices and/or mandatory ticket allotments. Each school or their fanbase needs to cough up $2-3 million to have their team there? The bowl would need to generate $28M (if divided 14 ways) for the conference’s coffers just so your school could sniff breaking even on the deal.

    I think it would be interesting to see a team or teams with a lot of cache in a conference refuse to play in a high-priced bowl unless the conference subsidizes their trip instead of the trip subsidizing the conference.

  6. DawgPhan

    I believe that T Boone Pickens just did this for an OkSU basketball game and a ND alum did it for the student championship game tickets.

  7. I don’t think ticket prices are holding Florida fans back…it may have something to do with playing Louisville.

    • The984

      I don’t recall what were perceived at the time as lackluster opponents holding back our Sugar Bowl ticket sales in the 2005 and 2007 seasons. (I will admit that the 2006 Sugar Bowl may have been changed slightly due it being held in Atlanta).

      • Go Dawgs!

        Florida’s been in a lot more Sugar Bowls in the last 20-something years than Georgia has.

        • The984

          Only four more than us since Spurrier came on, and four of those were prior to the 1997 season. We’ve been to the same number of Sugar Bowls since Richt came on board. It’s just that Florida has also had trips to Tempe and Miami in that time. After the past couple of seasons, I would just think they would be ecstatic to go to the Sugar Bowl, regardless of opponent.

          • cube

            Florida plays a game in Louisiana, just down the road from New Orleans, every other year. They also just played in the Sugar Bowl 3 years ago. These 2 factors probably have a lot to do with it.

  8. W Cobb Dawg

    If the sugar had picked UGA, both teams would be selling out their allotment – and we wouldn’t need papa to kick in a wad of $$ (although tips are appreciated).

  9. What fresh hell is this?

    Gee, financials must have suddenly improved at Papa Johns. Mere months ago CEO Schnatter was telling his employees there were going to be reduced hours, employee layoffs, and increased pizza prices if the president was reelected….he failed to mention that those layoffs were planned as early as 2009. I wouldn’t be real happy right now if I were a Papa Johns’ employee, but at least they can get a cheap ticket to a bowl game.

    I’ll be rooting for the Gators to hang about 90 on Louisville, distasteful as it might be.