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.