I'm going to try out a new feature on the site where we track the secondary ticket market. I've been coming to games on somebody else's tickets nearly all my life; in fact the last time I paid for my own season tickets was 2001, my last year as a student. Before that my dad and I went with various family friends, and since then I've used just about every method in the world to get into Michigan games. If you find this cheap, especially for someone who's such Wolverine nut he writes about it for a living, remember I write about Michigan for a living.
This hardly qualifies me as an expert, so this feature will lean on data and other experts, including our ticket partners TiqIQ, and you. I want to make this interactive. We'll watch the prices of upcoming games, share tips, and maybe give away some free ones that come by.
THE HARBAUGH EFFECT
Amidst THAT, last year was the easiest in history to get into the Big House. I personally found a free ticket for every home game I could drag myself to (I was at home for Utah and Maryland). Given the amount of seats given away to every local charity, church organization, and student group to pop their heads into Schembechler Hall, if you got your tickets for the price of two Cokes, you probably overpaid. Sites that had to stick to face value couldn't move any.
This is now different. Demand for Michigan football tickets on the secondary market is up an average of $100 per ticket from last year on TiqIQ's site, and it's the same story on Stubhub. Having Michigan State and Ohio State home of course affects that—the Penn State game was the only game that was even at $200 before the bottom fell out of the market after Notre Dame. Anyway last year was a historic, ridiculous low; this year seems about the Carr norm. Harbaugh!
THE NEXT GAME
I pinged the guy from TiqIQ about what's going on with those:
I would say to get them now as the average price for the Utah game has risen by $40 since July 28th from $343 to $385
For me those prices are "I guess I'm not going" level. The "average" price isn't a real price—the low of the market is where they're trading, not the middle—but the rise is real. That's a tiny stadium about to be descended upon by thousands of Harbaughians who want to see his first game.
It's a seller's season right now, with season tickets sold out and individual games already down to one or no seats available by the time it hit the open market. But August is also the "hey, let's plan our trip this year" month, so prices for marquee and even half-interesting games will slowly creep up between now and kickoff. It will take a loss to reset them (it always does).
In a week of tracking prices on TiqIQ (which collates all the smaller markets), Stubhub, and Craigslist (Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit), here's where prices stand, per ticket for two or more seats together:
|Season Tix||$900||$650||Now||You can turn OSU/MSU around for $500. Hype will build through August.|
|@Utah||$275||$142||at dip.||People traveling want to be sure they'll get in, small stadium.|
|Oregon State||$85||$62||tossup||If we lose to Utah these will drop to $30.|
|UNLV||$45||$33||at game||Hangovers are stronger than the will to see M play a high school team.|
|BYU||$72||$51||at dip.||Home game after two wins should be good.|
|@Maryland||$85||$56||Now||M fans are going to drive this market way up even if we lose to BYU|
|Northwestern||$80||-||wait.||See how the season's going.|
|MSU||$194||$130||at dip.||Always a hot ticket because in-staee brahs.|
|@Minnesota||$78||-||wait.||No idea how the Minnesota secondary market works now—last time I went was Metrodome, which had unlimited seats. Help?|
|Rutgers||$43||$33||at dip.||Ungh. Every year.|
|@Indiana||$63||$56||at game||M fans drive up price, Hoosiers will be in SELL SELL SELL mode by Nov.|
|@Penn State||$145||$125||Now||PSU fans on the other hand...|
|Ohio State||$217||$141||wait.||If the season's going Harbaugh, this will go up.|
The interesting one has been Oregon State. On one hand it's the first Harbaugh home game, so people are loathe to sell for less than face this far out. On the other hand, it's Oregon State. The market speaks loudly about which teams interest them—UNLV is already below face for any "get me in there" level. Rutgers is right there with UNLV—and we play them every year now!
Once the first game comes the market for the less marketable games is going to drop further, since the people who couldn't sell their season tickets will be getting what they can for OSU. Already Craigslist is filled with people offering "and UNLV!" with some ticket people want.
The least expensive ticket for almost any home game will be found within 10 minutes of kickoff at the corner of Stadium and Main. Other gates and the walk to them have a lot of the same types of "my wife stayed home with the sick one, so you'll be sitting with me and my son" last-second deals. Does not apply for any game selling over face, but that should only be the two rivals this year.
BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)
Penn State or Michigan should be having a good enough season, and have big enough traveling fanbases, to make two lower bowl, center-end zone seats for $116 each out the door seem tempting as hell.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
This edition is kind of a test balloon for something I'll be running all season like every other week. What else do you want to see?