This weekend is Rivalry Week in college football and there are no bigger rivals in the sport than Auburn and Alabama. Saturday’s game will also be only the second time both teams enter the game with a top-five ranking (Alabama is No. 1 and Auburn is No. 4).
Surprisingly, this hasn’t done anything to boost ticket prices in the week leading up to the game. After Iron Bowl tickets peaked at a secondary market average of $673 per seat a week ago, prices have fallen 28% to bring the average down to $473. It appears that ticket sellers got a little overzealous and set their prices a bit too high. With 1,300+ tickets still available, prices may continue to drop with the game just three days away and sellers needing to get rid of inventory.
Despite the recent drop in price, 2013 Iron Bowl tickets still rank as the second-most expensive game on the entire 2013 college football schedule in average ticket price and premium over the home team’s season average.
Below is a list of this year’s top-10 priced college football games, along with the premium each home team’s fan paid:
|Date||Match-up||Avg Price||% Above Home Team Avg|
|9/14/2013||Alabama @ Texas A&M||$820||+343%|
|11/30/2013||Alabama @ Auburn||$473||+209%|
|9/28/2013||Oklahoma @ Notre Dame||$471||+112%|
|9/28/2013||Wisconsin @ Ohio State||$376||+81%|
|9/7/2013||Notre Dame @ Michigan||$373||+90%|
|11/23/2013||Texas A&M @ LSU||$364||+148|
|10/19/2013||Florida State @ Clemson||$350||+169%|
|11/9/2013||LSU @ Alabama||$332||+109%|
|10/19/2013||USC @ Notre Dama||$321||+41%|
|12/7/2013||Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State||$321||+170%|
As you can see, the only game ahead of the Iron Bowl was the Alabama at Texas A&M showdown in College Station in the middle of September. That game ended up with an average ticket price above $800 and was one of, if not the most expensive regular season college football game ever. Aggies fans aren’t accustomed to these huge SEC clashes and that was clearly a huge driver of demand for tickets. Prices for this year’s Iron Bowl aren’t high because of the novelty of things; they’re high because of the importance of the game.
Tickets are also 89% higher than last year’s game in Tuscaloosa — a dud of a game that saw the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide destroy a very bad Tigers squad, 49-0. Saturday’s matchup once again carries all the hype and importance fans of both teams are used to, and we probably won’t be seeing a 49-point blowout. With two top-four teams taking the field, the ramifications are tremendous with BCS National Championship hopes and in-state bragging rights on the line. This one could be a classic.