College Football's Most Expensive Ticket Prices for 2015 Season
From massive TV deals all the way down to stadium souvenirs, college football is a big-money sport—and the cash flow seems to be increasing by the day.
One of the biggest examples of the lucrative world of college football can be found in ticket prices. Season and individual-game tickets for powerhouses sell out in minutes, and the resale marketplace explodes with activity months in advance.
With a couple of months to go before the start of the 2015 season, let's take a look at how much fans will have to spend in order to lock down tickets for some of the biggest games of the year.
These are the 10 most expensive 2015 regular season games in college football, ranked by the cheapest ticket currently available online from StubHub.
Secondary market prices will fluctuate in the coming weeks and months—more tickets are set to become available for some of these games. However, if fans want to go ahead and guarantee a seat at these matchups now, this is the bare minimum they will have to pay.
(Note: The Shamrock Series game between Boston College and Notre Dame at Fenway Park has been omitted from this list because of the small amount of tickets that have been released. The cheapest of the 33 tickets currently available online comes in at $1,005.60.)
Just Outside the Top 10
The cheapest tickets to four college football games outside the Top 10 have already broken the $200 barrier. As you will see in the following list, it's expensive to be a fan of the Big Ten, SEC and (especially) Notre Dame.
- Ohio State at Michigan: $212
- Georgia at Auburn: $204.52
- Georgia Tech at Notre Dame: $204.15
- Notre Dame at Clemson: $201.15
10. Penn State at Ohio State: $247.99
One of Ohio State's closest calls last season came in a double-overtime game against an improving Penn State squad. This season, the divisional rematch is already commanding huge ticket prices.
Ohio State flattened Penn State 63-14 in its last meeting in Columbus, but the Nittany Lions had won two of their previous three trips to the Horseshoe before the 2013 rout. This season's game is already set for a prime-time kickoff, and there will be plenty of eyes on this one.
Of course, securing the right for your eyes to be on the field instead of a TV will cost you anywhere from the neighborhood of $250 for a seat high in the upper deck to the $1,500-$2,000 range for a club ticket.
9. LSU at Alabama: $269.67
With all the SEC West implications, Nick Saban narratives and past nail-biters between the two teams, it's not a shocker the LSU-Alabama game is once again one of college football's most expensive tickets.
Soaring ticket prices are nothing new to this series between SEC heavyweights. According to AL.com, the get-in price for the 2011 matchup in Tuscaloosa—a clash between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country—was between $400 and $500.
This year's game in Tuscaloosa probably won't be between top-two teams, but the demand for tickets will still be extremely high. Last season, the Tigers took a higher-ranked Tide team to overtime in Baton Rouge.
8. Ohio State at Virginia Tech: $271.35
The price for possible revenge is high for Ohio State fans this year.
Ohio State's lone loss of its national championship season in 2014 came at home against Virginia Tech. Now, the second half of this home-and-home series will open the season for both teams on Labor Day, and tickets for the occasion are already skyrocketing.
Night games at Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium are special, and a nationally televised one against the defending national champions has the potential to be legendary. One of the first contests of the new season will definitely command some of the highest prices of the year.
7. Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas): $275.01
Even though both of these powerhouses fell short of their lofty goals last season, fans will still have to pay big money for a ticket to be part of the unique atmosphere at the Red River Showdown.
Oklahoma has been the clear favorite the last two seasons, but Texas has continued to bring the drama to this historic rivalry. In 2013, unranked Texas surprised many by beating No. 12 Oklahoma by 16. Last year, the No. 11 Sooners had to hold off a fourth-quarter charge to edge the Longhorns by five.
With the State Fair of Texas surrounding this game each year, there's nothing quite like this series. Everything's bigger in Texas—especially ticket prices to see the Longhorns face the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.
6. Michigan State at Ohio State: $284.99
This huge game at the Horseshoe will most likely determine the winner of the Big Ten's East division and perhaps the conference's best candidate for a spot in this season's College Football Playoff.
The last time these two played at Ohio State, Michigan State snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series and went on to play for the Big Ten Championship. Last season, the two teams lit up the scoreboard in a 49-37 shootout in East Lansing.
This will be the last chance Ohio State fans will get to see the defending champions play at home in 2015, making the game an even bigger ticket. Get ready to pay accordingly, Buckeyes and Spartans.
5. Michigan at Utah: $285
Utah tickets usually don't come anywhere close to these numbers. But this Thursday night game during the opening week of the season commands one of college football's biggest asking prices because of one man—Jim Harbaugh.
The new Michigan head coach's first game in charge will be away from Ann Arbor and the Wolverines' 109,901-seat "Big House." Instead, it will be at Salt Lake City's Rice-Eccles Stadium, which broke its attendance record last season with 47,619 fans.
The hype surrounding Harbaugh's maiden voyage with Michigan—one against a power-conference opponent that beat the Wolverines last year—and the limited amount of seats in Utah will make this one of the toughest tickets of the season.
4. Alabama at Auburn: $342.18
The Iron Bowl is one of the most anticipated games year in and year out. The events of Alabama and Auburn's last two meetings have created even more excitement for this year's showdown in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Fewer than 1,500 tickets are available on StubHub for this rivalry clash, and they're all fetching huge amounts of money. Most of the cheapest options are high in the end-zone seats, while every upper deck ticket costs more than $400 right now.
The last time these two teams played in Auburn, the median price for a ticket during game week was a staggering $618.80, according to Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis. At least most of the fans with those prized tickets in 2013 got the chance to take the field.
3. USC at Notre Dame: $381.99
No other annual rivalry game has more combined national championships and Heisman Trophy winners than the one between Notre Dame and USC. So it should come as no surprise that a game between these two storied programs fetches one of the highest resale prices in college football.
These two rivals haven't met as ranked teams since 2009, and there's a chance this year's matchup will be the first time they've gone toe-to-toe as Top 10 foes since 2006.
This mid-October contest could have a major impact in the playoff chances for both teams, and the fact it's in South Bend this season makes for an even pricier ticket.
2. Alabama at Georgia: $398.08
A possible preview of the 2015 SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Alabama and Georgia will meet between the hedges in Athens in early October for one of the conference's biggest games of the season.
These two SEC powers haven't met in a cross-divisional series since 2007 and 2008, when Georgia won an overtime game in Tuscaloosa before falling 41-30 to Alabama in a massive Top 10 matchup. With the rarity of regular season games and the amount of preseason buzz between these two teams, ticket prices for this one have gone through the roof.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub, which is just a shade under $400, is by itself. If Tide or Bulldogs fans want to buy a pair of tickets, those start at $411.74. For those want to live in luxury for this huge conference showdown, club level tickets start at $1,054.08 and go all the way up to $2,634.75.
1. Texas at Notre Dame: $576.08
Of the regular season games for 2015, Notre Dame's season opener against Texas is the toughest ticket by a huge margin.
The cheapest seat for the matchup between these two historic programs costs more than some season ticket packages you can find on the secondary market—including ones at Texas. (Season tickets for Notre Dame home games, on the other hand, start at $1,400.)
The Longhorns and the Fighting Irish haven't met on the field in almost 20 years. If you want to see these iconic teams square off in one of the game's most historic venues, be expected to shell out the big bucks and then some.
Justin Ferguson is an on-call college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.