Monday, several outlets reported on Rose Bowl tickets being a tough sell. This is from Stewart Mandel, of Fox Sports.
As of Monday, visitors to Florida State's own ticketing site could still purchase a pair of $175 tickets in the school's seating block. And that's despite the fact both FSU and Oregon were allotted far fewer tickets -- 12,500 each -- than past Rose Bowl participants, as required by the CFP. Oregon sold out its initial batch and received an additional 4,000, enough to satisfy every season-ticket holder and donor request, said a school official.
"In a regular Rose Bowl we're a contractual sellout," said Kevin Ash, the bowl's chief administrative officer. "It's the first time we've ever had to create a public sale, to go out and market tickets and sell tickets in the public sector ... whereas the typical Rose Bowl, our partners took up two-thirds of the stadium."
What the articles didn't focus in on, however, is that the major impediment to attending the game for FSU fans is not the hotels or the game tickets, but the flights.
I think there is a bit of disconnect between some media and fans when it comes to the cost of tickets. Many media from Florida are flying out to California on the 27th or 28th. Most fans, however, aren't going out that early. They're heading out on or around the 30th, for a game played on the 1st. Which means fans must look for flights along with those flying for the New Year.
And, because of another event I have to cover in Orlando before the Rose Bowl, the 30th is when I found myself flying out.
I was shocked to see how much my ticket was going to cost: $980.
Yes, there were a few cheaper flights, but by $100 or so, not in the $4-500 range.
At these prices, a pair of FSU fans is being asked to drop $1,500 on airfare, another $350 on tickets (though some expect ticket prices to drop sharply as the game approaches), another $750 or so on hotel and meals, plus transportation, and a trip to a game that isn't even the championship could end up costing a couple upwards of $3,000. That's too much to ask of many fans who are already traveling to see family for Christmas, and who are mindful of potential championship travel just a week later.
Flights to Dallas for the championship game, comparatively, can be had for a third of what flights to LAX are going (though it should be noted that tickets to the title game will likely be 4X of tickets to the Rose Bowl).