In Soviet Big Ten, Title Game Pays You

Submitted by Brian on November 30th, 2011 at 10:52 AM


Probably not this bad, but not good either.

This popped up on Craigslist last night:

Event Seat-Filler (Indianapolis / Downtown)

Date: 2011-11-29, 9:24PM EST
Reply to: [email protected] [Errors when replying to ads?]

Saturday night event in downtown Indianapolis needs seat-fillers. Total number of seat-fillers needed will vary based on crowd.

Must tolerate loud noise and crowds. Must have red or dark green casual clothing to wear. Event will last all evening on Saturday night. All ages, sexes, races, etc.

Please use contact e-mail. Event planner will follow-up with exact details on location for staging of seat-fillers (additional information and instruction provided there).

  • Location: Indianapolis / Downtown
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: 75 dollars, parking validation and access to event

I saw one of The Only Colors guys complain that ticket prices were collapsing on StubHub and he should have waited to pick tickets up; he had no idea. If you paid more than negative 75 dollars you've been had.

Stubhub is currently showing a whopping 38 pages of tickets totaling 9000(!) seats starting at ten bucks. Almost 15% of the stadium is currently being hawked on a single website. This is "sold out" in an extremely technical sense.


"As you look at these games all around the country, all of them are going to be under face value,'' said Franksmann, whose site was listing $89 tickets for $29 on Tuesday. "You hate to say this, but people don't really care to go to a meaningless game.''

Needs moar "Build Me Up, Buttercup," I think.



November 30th, 2011 at 10:58 AM ^

It's not the ACC's fault the Blue Man Group (not the self-help group) happened to have their convention in the same stadium at the same time as the championchip game.


November 30th, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

Home field for the higher ranked team. This is a bad week for travel as students have finals starting, everyone traveled last week, and Indy is in the middle of no where. Other fanbases would travel probably better then the two schools in the title game, but it would still have a hard time 'selling out.'

That said, lol

Other Andrew

November 30th, 2011 at 12:10 PM ^

I was going to say this exact thing. It is so blindingly obvious to have this game in Chicago, even if you have to do it at the Rosemont Horizon on an arenaball field. OK, not quite, but why not have the Midwest's major conference host its crowning event at the Mecca of the Midwest? These aren't the teams with the biggest fan bases in the conference, but they've gotta be #s 5 an 7 at worst. This is pathetic.

PDX Blue

November 30th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

The PAC 12 is scheduled to move to a neutral field next year, location still TBD, but I believe it will be in southern California. The home field for the division winner with the best record is for this season because they did not have enough time to figure out the local for the championship game, once the league went to 12 teams.




November 30th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

What's interesting is supposedly Wisky is the culript for failing to sell out.  You think they'd be pumped to get revenge over State and go to the Rose Bowl.

This is also why the game needs to be in Chicago.  You'd have enough B1G fans to fill the place up if you sold tickets for 25 or so.  That's better than paying people 75 a head to fill the place up.


November 30th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

Totally agree the game should be in Chicago.  There is a ridiculous number of Big Ten grads here.  Even as a Michigan fan I would pay $25 bucks to catch the game in Soldier Field, and I know the UW-NIU game attracted a lot of people who weren't affiliated with either school.


November 30th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

Exactly.  I'm in Ann Arbor, but if my wife and I could see the game for 50 or so we'd come down.  Game on Saturday, a trip to China Town, holiday shopping on Miracle Mile on Sunday and we're both happy.  Also lots of B1G grads have a friend or two that works in Chicago and can couch crash.  So overall it is a cheaper and attractive trip than a 6 hour drive through Indiana.  Chicago has stuff to do beside watching the game.  People are more likely to buy into "weekend in Chicago, which includes the game".  Whereas Indy is fly in, see the game, fly out.  Basically I can't justify 200 in airfare or 120 in gas just to see a game in Indy.  I can justify it for Chicago.  Honestly if we made the championship game I'd have to debate between spending money to go to Indy or saving it for a trip to the bowl game.

(Although if you are in Indy, drop by Long's Donuts.  Amazing, although it is right on the edge of the bad section, so lingering is not ideal.)

Feat of Clay

November 30th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

I agree that Chicago is WAY more attractive, especially during holiday time. 

That said, Indy has a lot going for it (no, really!) and I wonder how hard they are marketing that aspect.  Family-wise, It's got one of the best Childrens Museums in the country.  It's got a cool hotel downtown that lets you sleep in old Pullman cars.  Awesome art museum.  A well-known NY style deli/cafeteria in town (whose name escapes me).  Just down the road you have Columbus, IN which is an architecture fan's dream.   Connor's Prairie does a thing for the holidays not unlike Greenfield Village's Holiday Nights.  Surely they could package this thing to be a great place to spend the weekend and see the game.  Of course, maybe they are doing just that, and we are not seeing it because U-M's not in the game. 



November 30th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

Indy may have going for it, but seems to be lost on the most casual observer, is that the stadium itself is a lot more accessible than Chicago.  I know I'm somewhat intimidated with the cost and pain of driving and parking in Chicago, and having driven by Lucas Oil field many times, its right off the highway and somewhat near the airport.  Admittedly, I've never been to Soldier field, but if its anything like Wrigley, which I have been to, its kind of a pain unless you really know your way around. 


November 30th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

With all due respect, the idea of the B1G having to market the town in which the championship is played seems like it kind of defeats the purpose. Regardless of Lucas Oil Field being a better facility for it than Soldier Field, it should've been in Chicago and hopefully the league will see this as we all do. The biggest difference between Indy and Chi is that B1G alums living in Chicago alone could fill the stadium and probably would at $50 a tickets. While Indy will require people to drive/fly in. Nobody wants to go to Indy. As a State fans I would rather save my money for the bowl game (where-ever it is played) and make a trip out of that than go to Indy for the weekend.


November 30th, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

My only issue with what you said is I'm not sure if family friendly puts butts in seats for college ball.  The people who feel the strongest connection to their college and have disposable income are students or recent graduates who don't have kids or a lot of obligations to tie them down.  Once you get kids you end up budgeting for a trip to Disney World so Mickey Mouse can mug you for all your money, having to stay in town because Timmy is in the holiday play and stuff like that.  It's completely ancedotal but it seems like only 10 or 20 percent of our stadium is kids on any given day.  Every bowl I've been to also seems to be 85+% childless couples walking around.  No on wants to be on kid monitoring duty while getting smashed at the tailgate.

I agree Indy has a lot going for it from the family angle (the Children's Museum is awesome) but I just struggle to see packaging that with football as a good fit.  The Indy 500 and childrens stuff is a good fit, but that's because you can basically camp out in the stands there with your kids for cheap.  Not so much at a football game where you get a 18 inch square piece of aluminum to stick your ass on for 3.5 hours and nothing else.  

Edit:  Actually a better way to think of it might be how often PSU or Neb fans bring kids to Ann Arbor.  It's one thing to bring your kid to see your alma mater and brainwash them, but I don't think many college fans take their kids on the road.  I'm struggling to recall ever seeing more than a handful of kids wearing PSU colors in AA.  

Feat of Clay

November 30th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

Yeah, fair point, I'm thinking about this as a parent often looking for cool places to spend a weekend with the family, not as an average fan.  Indy is probably a hard sell to a lot of people, and it certainly pales compares to certain other options. 

Still, once the game was set there (ill-advised as that may have been), I hope the Indy convention and visitor's bureau went balls out on trying to make people realize they COULD make a weekend of it.  Indy may never beat out Chicago as a true "destination," but they could certainly market the game as more than a drive in-drive out event--and not even have to lie very much.  I'm speaking as someone who gets mailings from the Great Sioux City Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Now THERE are some people who understand poetic license.  

As to your other point....I have been to the Indy 500.  I think I would sooner take my child to Mardi Gras than THAT event.  Holy jeebus I saw a lot of drunk rednecks screaming at women to show their tits.  And an awful lot of cheerful compliance.  I've got nothing against tits, of course, but the atmosphere did not strike me as wholesome.

P.S. I assume the fact that my earlier post got four upvotes is rocksolid evidence that there are at least 4 indianapolis natives on the boards.


November 30th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

That's the deli, which is excellent.

There's lots of stuff to do in Indy, but you either have to live there or do research to know about it. (Bars in Broad Ripple, for example.) Chicago, you know about already. You can buy overpriced shit anywhere, trust me.

I'm thinking the attendance problem is the answer to the question, "Why would the Sugar Bowl pick Michigan over MSU?" though.

Think what we'll have to pay for a UM/OSU top ten rematch in a few years.



November 30th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

Plus, his larger point is it's a lot easier to sell "let's go to Chicago" than "let's go to Indianapolis" to a significant other who probably won't go to the game (even if she is a UM fan). Indianapolis just doesn't conjure up lots of ideas of things to do in the minds of most Midwesterners the way Chicago does.


November 30th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

Everyone who grew up in the Midwest has likely said "Hey lets go to Chicago for the weekend" at least once in their lives.  It's a nice city and you can survive there without a rental car (something you can't do in Indy, their bus service is subpar).  

Also Chicago is a cheaper trip for a lot of fanbases in terms of gas.  As others mentioned it punishes Columbus based tOSU fans a bit, but not severely.   PSU and Neb were likely flying anyways.  It improves things for MSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin fans and those are the schools who are the likely schools to squirt in when Neb, Michigan, and tOSU have down years.  

Indiana fans of course are severely punished, but meh.


November 30th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

Most people are going to have their own car or a rental.  We're not gd hippies

All of this said, the lack of attendance is stunning to me.  There's absolutely no question I'd drive down to Indy if Michigan made the B1G championship, and I'm not a student or alum.  Indy's an OK city, but it's not about that - it's about getting an opportunity to see your team play for a championship.  I'd go to Gary, IN

Maybe saving up for a bowl is the issue, but these things aren't going to happen every year.


November 30th, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

I always take the Amtrak to Chicago and take the elevated rail everywhere.  So much easier than finding parking for your car in Chicago.  It's actually a nice feature on weekend trips.  Alternatively you can drive to Chicago, park on the outer end of the red line for cheap and go from there.  As for PSU and Neb fans it lowers the cost of attendance (since I assume a lot of them fly anyway) and makes them more likely to make the trip.  

For a weekend trip, not needing a car or a rental is actually really nice.  City parking is either a pain or pricey (or both).  


November 30th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

2nd, totally agree with you on Chicago. As a Chicagoan (native, and currently), wasn't the only knock on Chicago that "Soldier Field doesn't have enough seats"? Well apparently the B1G can't sell all the seats. Do you think that a city and suburbs with about 10 MILLION people would fail to sell this game out? Forget the fact that there are literally thousands of B1G alumni in the city... Now they're paying $75 to fill the stadium?

This was just dumb. Chicago > Indy. Way to go Big Ten. Also, football should be played outside.

/Get off my lawn but I live in a condo...

MI Expat NY

November 30th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

Yep, this and your point below nail it.  The Big Ten blew it.  Chicago is the most central possible location.  By moving it from Indy to Chicago, you would arguably only turn one fan base's trip from very drivable to merely doable, and that is Ohio State, I don't think they'd have trouble selling out.  Everyone else would either still not really be easily drivable, actually greatly improved (Iowa, Wisconsin) or still within easy driving distance.  

in addition to the legions of alumni/fans in the Chicagoland area, one other huge advantage is airports.  I don't know how easy it is to fly into Indy, but it certainly can't be easier than Chicago.  That's a huge advantage for out of town alumni who could afford and and are willing to fly for the game.  One final advantage is that Soldier field is a bit smaller.  61K v. 63K, and Lucas Oil Stadium expands to 70K, which I wouldn't be surprised to find out they did for this game.  

I also second your point below.  I think the Big Ten made a huge mistake setting aside so few tickets for fan bases.  I mean, only 15K were given to each side.  That's less than half the stadium being sold directly to the fan bases.  That doesn't make sense.  


November 30th, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

So there are 9000 luxury packages (using the stub hub number)?

I think the issue is that the tickets sold out to fans of the fanbases that travel well.  They make a speculative purchase and now they're dumping the tickets when they didn't make it (PSU, Neb, and Mich fans are likely the culripts.  Plus some delusional tOSU fans).  To the B1G got its money, but the place isn't going to fill up for MSU vs Wisky.  The secondary market is tanking because Sparty and Badger fans aren't buying them off the fans who speculated (and the scalpers).

oriental andrew

November 30th, 2011 at 11:28 AM ^

Of course the tickets sold out the first day they were available.  Husker fans expected to come in and romp all over the Big Ten and probably bought their fair share.  Don't know how many Michigan fans did the same, but I could see it for PSU, osu, and even some crazy Iowa and Northwestern fans.  And, of course, you have the scalper-bots snapping up a good number of tickets. 


November 30th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

You're correct about Nebraska fans. See

"Part of the reason is fans like Greg Labens.

Labens has lived in Indianapolis for 25 years, but he grew up in Nebraska and is among the passionate fan base of the Cornhuskers. When tickets for the Big Ten title game at Lucas Oil Stadium went on sale last summer, Labens bought three for $70 each. He expected to see Nebraska.

But the Cornhuskers didn't win their division and aren't headed to Indianapolis. So Labens, and many other Nebraska fans, flooded the secondary market with tickets. "


November 30th, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

Considering the amount of tickets for sale on secondary markets, I'm guessing a lot of those tickets might have been bought by scalpers and/or fans of schools who were thinking their teams would make the game but didn't.

There's probably going to be a lot of empty seats in there.