Want tickets for BCS Championship Game? If you don’t already have them, be prepared to pay big

These days, $128,000 can fetch you a five-bedroom, three-bath foreclosure home on 32nd Street in West Palm Beach, giving you 2,534 square feet to roam.

Or, for the same price, you can rent a Sun Life Stadium suite for a few hours Jan. 7. It would enable you to watch the BCS Championship Game, but be advised: Although you’ll have access to loads of bathrooms, don’t expect any bedrooms or much square footage.

Even though Notre Dame didn’t qualify for the title game until last weekend by beating Southern Cal, the BCS Championship Game has been a virtual sellout “for quite a while,” said Larry Wahl, vice president of communications for the Orange Bowl, this year’s host of the title game.

And only limited tickets remain for the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl, also at Sun Life and featuring the winner of the Florida State-Georgia Tech ACC title game this Saturday. The OB matchup will be determined this weekend, as will be the Irish’s opponent (either Alabama or Georgia).

Nowadays, sellouts do not mean tickets aren’t available. You just have to be willing to pay a premium price — and in extreme cases, mortgage the house.

So it’s no surprise that ticket brokers and individual ticket-holders have listings for BCS tickets plastered throughout the Internet. StubHub, for example, lists nearly 8,500 tickets ranging from $1,400 for an upper-level corner end zone seat to — we’re not making this up — $999,999 for a “field club” ticket with a “possible obstructed view,” no less.

“It’s kind of interesting because we don’t have the teams announced yet, but interest seems to be as high as any BCS Championship Game that I can remember,” Wahl said. Once the matchup is set, he added, “It could be among the most highly sought-after tickets ever.”

Plenty of tickets also are available via the website craigslist.com, with most in the $2,500 to $3,000 range.

Underhanded tactics, including the production of counterfeit tickets, are why legit BCS tickets were embossed and include special coding, Wahl said. He urged fans to exercise caution on the open market and use approved websites such as primesport.com.

Ticketmaster on Wednesday listed a total of 18 tickets remaining for the BCS game, and they all are linked to a “Fan Zone Package” that includes a pre-game party area and thus are selling for $1,789 to $4,689.

Another pricey option is Ticketsnow, which Ticketmaster calls “a fan resale marketplace by Ticketmaster.” Ticketsnow had 3,308 listings ranging from $1,549 to $8,610 with a guarantee the tickets are legit.

Since Ticketsnow prices are far higher than the face value of $366-$434 for most seats, Ticketmaster sought to defuse possible criticism with a disclaimer: “Ticketmaster does not divert inventory designated by our clients for primary sales into the resale market.”

Sun Life Stadium seats 75,540 for football. Wahl said each participating team in the BCS game will receive 17,000 tickets. Most of the rest go to corporate sponsors and partners, plus annual Orange Bowl patrons, who could not purchase BCS tickets without first buying OB seats. Dolphins suite and club-seat owners also have first dibs on BCS tickets.

Entrepreneurship being what it is, there’s another emerging method of buying tickets at face value. Teamtix operates “like the stock market,” Wahl said, enabling optimistic, gambling fans a chance to purchase tickets if their team reaches the title game. Notre Dame fans, for example, can pay $1,199 for the right to buy one ticket, with Alabama fans being charged $1,000 and George fans $372. The catch: If your team doesn’t make it, you don’t get a refund.

A final option that could pay off is simply to wait until kickoff, when prices often plummet outside the stadium. Two problems with that approach: a greater chance of buying a bogus ticket — and you could end up hustling home to watch the final three quarters on television.

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