Ticket Watch is Jacked Up

Submitted by Seth on October 15th, 2015 at 2:48 PM

…because my nephew's name is Jack and he's going to his first game…if we can find a third seat in section 18 row 40ish. I got two for this game, and they weren't cheap, but prices have shot up a ton since.

Oh, this is the new feature where we talk about the secondary ticket market because I'm too cheap to donate money to get in line to buy season tickets. I've been scrounging for most of my adult life, and while it usually works out (my best friend and old sports ticket co-conspirator and I have a motto of "Everything always works out") there have been two days that it didn't. One was a 2006 World Series. The other, the 2010 Michigan State game:

On the way up, my consultant and I had agreed on a plan: We would spend pre-game trying to run into people we know, asking if they had singles with them. If not, we would wait until just after kickoff, when sellers were cursing their greed and desperate to pocket something before heading in. We had another ride lined up just in case not everyone got a ticket, our pockets were full of $10s and $5s, and we were ready – just in case – to bail for my consultant's 62-inch HDTV, where the DVR was running. I trusted this plan; my consultant has a degree in economics from Michigan State University, which I hear is a pretty good school.

I've never trusted the gameday ticket market for an MSU game again. According to Ralph at TiqIQ the cheapest tickets on their sites since then wound up at $170 (East Lansing), $146 (Ann Arbor), $110 (EL), and $104 (EL) by gametime. A hundred is the floor for these games. And this one ain't the floor.


I hope I saved you some money on the Maryland tickets—it was hard to tell how many seats went empty because the network didn't want to show it, but I heard from enough people that offering to not pay was about as good as any other procedure.

Homecoming I had to get in on the ticket exchange early because we had the alumni event. I got offered a free pair after I'd already spent $75 for two from a friend on Facebook, so I offloaded the original two for $20 apiece at Stadium & Main entrance on the way in.


Game In Aug In Sept Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
MSU $194 $225 $220 $207 NOW!!! Biggest game in years
@Minnesota $78 $40 $30 - at game Letdown year in Minn
Rutgers $43 same $60 nope Now or later Last reasonable home game before OSU.
@Indiana $63 $60 $55 - wait. Going down now.
@Penn State $145 $108 $115 $100 next loss They play OSU this week so...
Ohio State $217 $181 $265 $201 NOW!!! Unless you think they'll lose

The MSU tickets are hopping up to $250 but there are a lot of them still popping up. OSU tickets as well. These are people who see a chance to pay for the difference between the price they paid for a UNLV ticket and what the UNLV ticket was actually worth, but they're not wrong. If you want to test the waters and see if they'll come down closer to gametime, I still suggest buying printable tickets online. A lot of people who usually show up and find a ticket on the way in are going to be jockeying for the few that actually made it to the stadium. Spartans too. With Thanksgiving and the entropy of football threatening The Game, the MSU game will probably wind up the most expensive ticket of the year.

Also it'll be a crisp 48 degrees and sunny. Who would want to sell?

My gophers who investigated the Gophers ticket market were right: as soon as they were dismantled by Northwestern the "Kill-ing It" happy fun times were over, and the home crowd shrank back to the kind-hearted people who get really into punters and bits of broken chair trophies. Penn State I feel I've scouted pretty well too—the tickets will be $100 now or later but you can save $10 or $20 if you catch a firesale after a disappointing loss.

As for the two remaining home games, Rutgers is less of a dog now that Michigan fans awoke to the sooner-than-we-thought "arrival" of the good times, then immediately realized there's only one game that isn't Ohio State or Michigan State. If you buy now you're expecting Michigan to beat Michigan State on Saturday, because if that happens this ticket will keep incrementing upwards.

And then there's The Game. This could be a playoff play-in, or it could be a slaughter if the Buckeyes appear to be back on track and the Harbaugh papering job doesn't keep working. Buying now is a risk but this one's getting volatile as more believers buy in. I'd still wait just because there are soooooo many singles tickets out there. If they start getting gobbled up, make your move. It could be the best game of the year. Or of your life.


Don't do it on the board because we frown upon that, but sometimes a little moping about your ticket situation on Facebook can drum up an invite.

BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)

If you're gonna shell out, have a good time:


Somebody priced these to move; they're a little high up (Row 96) but in the End Zone that's a good thing. And the marginal difference between them and the other End Zone is worth it to be right next to the student section.

P.S. Said sponsor has an app now in case you're on your phone reading this and don't have microscopic fingertips. If you're using them use the code MGOBLOG and they'll give you 10% off certain listings.



October 15th, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

row 96 in the endzone (student section side) are some of the best seats in the house.  You get the extra space with a blank row behind you and can stand with out being yelled at.  On hot days you get the breeze from outside the stadium and on cold days you can duck below the wall. 

Also you really get to see the whole field and plays develop.  


October 15th, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

Warning about Minnesota: most of the cheap ones available right now are student tickets that require an ID. Most of the public tickets are still in the $60 range, though I have seen a single or two for $50.

I expect to be able to get two seats for $60 ish each no matter what happens. The market is flooded right now but nobody is desperate to dump their tickets yet, the game being two weeks away. There are lots of tickets unsold, too--big swaths of corner sections still available from the university ticket site.

If Minnesota loses to Nebraska, I suspect a decent number of people will find that they'd rather do something else on October 31 and try to dump tickets. Existing second-hand sales may get nervous and drop prices, too. If they win Saturday, the excitement level will be incrementally larger, but I'm not getting a big hype feel for this where I am in Duluth. With face tickets looking to be available up to game week, I still expect a sag in prices.

Keep in mind that both teams have byes next week, so no new data will exist prior to the game.


October 16th, 2015 at 7:31 AM ^

I am a former minor leaguer who actually works for a very well established secondary market ticket firm.  I have data on roughly 70% of all venues within the big 4 sports and NCAAF, of course some of that data is company confedential, but if people need to know how, where, and when to buy tickets for UM or a couple other teams..Let me know.. [email protected]

Indiana Blue

October 15th, 2015 at 2:59 PM ^

looking very likely that I'll be traveling to all the remaining games (home and away).  I have tickets for all except Minnesota. Is "scalping" legal in Minnesota ... ie - can I buy tickets outside the stadium, or should I be looking online ?  Thanks and ..

Go Blue!


October 15th, 2015 at 3:02 PM ^

I've been watching the IU road game tickets as I think the family and I are going to go. It's going up. Over the last week the cheapest tickets on Stubhub were around $35 after their loss to OSU. I checked again this morning and the lowest were back up to around $55.

Fortunately with regular tickets purchased you can buy a youth tickets for $10 from the IU athletics website.



October 15th, 2015 at 3:42 PM ^

I live about 3 blocks from the Big House.


I can park cars in my yard.

I can mope at the gate for a cheap ticket and run home to the TV if I fail.


I can hear crowd reactions about 7 seconds before the event on my TV. Small cheers could be visitors or minor Michigan play.


October 15th, 2015 at 3:43 PM ^

Quick question:
Same as below- should I take my chances Saturday outside or purchase on StubHub or some other place?

There's a place in Southfield selling the actual tix. I'm traveling from Dallas (not just for this game) but a big reason

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 15th, 2015 at 3:55 PM ^

I dunno...I live in Ann Arbor and I still almost always buy tickets ahead of time to avoid having to deal with scalpers, getting there early and carrying a bunch of cash. 

If it were me, I'd go the safe route and buy ahead of time...it's just one less thing to worry about. They have gone down since Sunday/Monday so maybe buy them tomorrow or even Saturday morning. Most Stubhub tickets can be scanned at the door from their mobile app or printed out (I usually do both just in case). 


October 15th, 2015 at 3:43 PM ^

after looking at ur Last article about ticket watch is scarce article I bought tix before the high demand sec 4 row 3 seat 1 and 2 I'm super excited my first rivalry game at the big house!


October 15th, 2015 at 4:19 PM ^

I mentioned this on another thread but somebody paid over $500 for my 2 Rutgers tickets I had up on Stubhub! I thought they were priced high enough so that nobody would be purchasing them. I was waiting for them to announce the kickoff time so then I could decide what my flight options were for getting into town for the game. If I couldn't make it, I was just going to lower the price down to market value. I was completely shocked that somebody paid that much this soon. How crazy. 


October 16th, 2015 at 12:58 AM ^

Looking to pick up a couple tickets for the Minnesota game. First time ever in "The Bank." Any advice on sections that had a good view/bad view?

Also, I'm seeing $60~70 for most of the tickets on StubHub. Tiqiq confirms that as well. Anyone else seeing different? Looks like a lot of tickets still for sale from the box office too. Might wait this one out a bit.


October 16th, 2015 at 11:33 PM ^

The stadium is small enough and designed well enough where all the seats are pretty good. Have not been to a game this year, but getting to the beer garden was a bitch when there is only one area and it is in the other side of the stadium. I'm not sure if that is still the same deal this year with the Vikings playing there. Haven't looked it up...

Uncle Rico

October 16th, 2015 at 8:50 AM ^

For my son and I.  Yes it's volatile, but W or L Saturday, the OSU game will be big.  Guaranteed.  

It will be my son's first game, and I'm going to keep it a surprise until the day before, or maybe a T-Day announcement.  He's 11, plays youth football (FB and LB) and watches every game with me.  I told him he could travel to a game with me when he memorized the starting Defense, and by gosh he's done it.

My hope for all of us, win or lose, is that it's a huge game with a B1G championship on the line.  My hope for my boy is that he will remember it for the rest of his life.

Football is FUN again!


October 16th, 2015 at 11:39 AM ^

Seth, in your OP you mention that you don't want to shell out the donation to get priority from the University for season tickets. That's totally understandable. I actually stopped doing that a few years ago, and now I buy my season tix off of ebay or craigslist before each season begins. It's a great way to save a lot of money as well as time and worry about finding tickets every week. Just my two cents.