Ticket Watch is Stilwell Gardner Comment Count

Seth September 16th, 2016 at 4:00 PM

I wasn’t going to do one this week because I’ve been traveling (wedding in the Colorado mountains. No I wasn’t consulted about the date). I changed my mind because:

  • The ticket market started to shift
  • Lots of people asked for an update
  • I’ve wanted to get a little editorializing thought out.


Colorado is better than we thought but also too much of a flight to convince a lot of Buffs fans to travel last minute. I’ve been in Colorado since Wednesday morning and ran into just one CU fan who wants to talk about this game—and he just wanted confirmation that they’re not awful anymore. This is a scarred populace, and flying to a Delta hub to reopen those wounds isn’t worth it.

As for Michigan fans, the dip is happening because it’s Friday, and because:


With Big Ten season around the corner and two recognizable opponents coming to town to kick it off, the best part of a bad out of conference season isn’t that enticing.

[JUMP for when to buy your Wisconsin tickets and a tale of morality]


The travel situation meant I couldn’t do what I normally do, which is keep a bunch of tabs open and check in on price movement like they’re stocks. So I don’t know when this started to happen but it’s happening: Wisconsin tickets are going up up up up.


That’s $50 higher than at the beginning of the season. The price shoots up quickly after a scroll because the “Get me in the building” tickets are disappearing fast. It’s not hard to guess why: beating LSU woke the Wisconsin fans, who now envision themselves walking into Les Miles’s alma mater and slaying another giant en route to a national championship and Corey Clement Heisman. We tried sending Patrick Barron into the land that thinks it’s a hand to convince them Cam Cameron isn’t Michigan’s offensive coordinator too, but it hasn’t affected the bull market.

Every year programs coming off a bad season pick up momentum from a big nonconference win. Like…sigh…all those times we beat Notre Dame. So right now Wisconsin/MSU/Iowa/Rutgers fans are the Rockford Peaches manager who looks like Tom Hanks, and I am Stilwell.

The upshot for you is if you can’t make the game and are sitting on tickets, please sell them to a Michigan fan. Also: sell them now or wait until Michigan beats Penn State. If you’re trying to get to that game, check in this Sunday. Wisconsin is on a high, and Michigan isn’t likely to lose.

The slate:

Game July Aug Now Dips Buy? Reasoning
Colorado $70 $80 $45 $45 --> five minutes after the first raindrops
Penn State $110 $140 $105 $105 now. PSU fans are at a low after Pitt
Wisconsin $115 $159 $175 n/a fri b4 Badgers happy, market up.
@Rutgers $125 $139 $118 $118 wait. Yer gonna lose.
Illinois (HC) $85 $85 $100 $85 wait. Yer gonna lose.
@MSU $225 $268 $256 $256 wait. Yer gonna lose.
Maryland $65 $54 $70 $54 wait Yer gonna lose.
@Iowa $85 $151 $195 $175 wait! Yer gonna lose?
Indiana $65 $40 $55 $55 now. They're gonna win some this year.
@Ohio State $250 $282 $275 $275 wait. Please lose?



Johnny and Bobby are each looking for 2 tickets—don’t have to be great as long as they can get into the game and see it. They’re going with understanding significant others who trust that they can get some tix at a good price.

Johnny is determined to have the cheapest seat in the building. He does everything you’re supposed to do for finding cheap seats:

  • Knew the market on Friday.
  • Checked craigslist around his house on gameday morning.
  • Checked in with family and friends asking if someone had an extra pair.
  • Walked down to the stadium, then circled around it then up to campus in the hour before kickoff.
  • Hung around Stadium & Main gate until just about kickoff and bugged every non-scalping seller with a lowball offer.
  • 10 minutes after kickoff got two tix for just $25 each.

Bobby went online on Friday afternoon, found two tickets for $50 each online in a pretty good location, and went to the bar. He listened to a podcast on his way up, and stopped at Revelli to watch the step-down program:

Then he tailgated with his old roommates for a bit, and went in around 11:20. He watched some warmups, explained BiSB’s funny tweet to his significant other, saw the band take the field, and sang the wrong words to “Varsity.”

Now ask yourself this: if you’re Johnny, would you pay $50 to have Bobby’s morning instead of yours?

I get asked all the time what’s the cheapest way to get tickets. There are cheap ways to get tickets, but they’re not always the best. You are allotted only so many fall Saturdays between the things you must do to survive, and your inevitable failure to do. So don’t forget to factor the value of a football Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan into the price of admission.


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

This would be a steal for Wisconsin or Penn State, but still great for Colorado:


Four seats (two and two) together on the 25 yard line, really close to the entrance/exit/bathrooms.

FALL” is the latest discount code I know of. It’s for 10% off.


When buying online, unless it’s a major rivalry game—like Michigan State vs. Michigan and both are undefeated—the day to sell is Tuesday-Wednesday, when responsible people want their plans set. The day to buy is Friday, when selling those unused tickets becomes deadly serious.


PF 34

September 17th, 2016 at 9:40 AM ^

Agreed. I bought my tickets when they dipped during the day yesterday. In general it's better to wait, but College Gameday is looming this gameweek. If we have two top 10 teams playing eachother and college gameday in ann arbor the day of the game tix will hold their value.


September 16th, 2016 at 4:38 PM ^

Wisconsin will be the first game I have attended since Harbaugh's hire. I came to America instead of waiting out my next work permit somewhere in eastern Europe (i.e., outside Schengen) to make it happen. That is all.


September 16th, 2016 at 5:03 PM ^

What happens Saturday in Norman will probably play into what happens to those ticket prices.  

I want to say face value for the OSU/Michigan is close to $200.  Unless OSU implodes how much more are those ticket prices going to come down?  Where are those seats that are $275?  There are seats at OSU where your view is obstructed.  


September 16th, 2016 at 5:11 PM ^

Penn St.

I just picked up 5 together section 15 row 40 earlier this week from the UM ticket site for $99 a piece which was much less than I was seeing on StubHub. Glad I checked there before buying 3 & 2 in different sections for $130 each plus $125 in fees on StubHub!

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September 16th, 2016 at 5:16 PM ^

I also think it's a little hypocritical to ask season ticket holders to sell to Michigan fans. You aren't willing to pony up and pay the psd and you work is by waiting until the last minute to buy from us when we can't go to games, but you expect us to be altruistic and take the monetary hit so the stadium is full of blue (as an aside I only sell on stub hub as a last resort and try to use local sites).

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September 17th, 2016 at 11:48 AM ^

What about the M fans that choose to stay at home and not buy tickets at all? Are they also being shitty fans for not going to the game? Why is it just the season ticket holders in that case are bad people? It is supply and demand. You can't get mad at the supply side only.


September 19th, 2016 at 4:59 PM ^

Most m fans don't go to the games. Most m fans don't pay the psd for season tickets. Most m fans don't go sit in the rain in East Lansing every other year to watch m. Most m fans don't try to sell to other m fans before posting on stub hub. I do all of those things, so I don't really give a shit what most m fans think about how I sell my season tickets.

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rob f

September 16th, 2016 at 8:56 PM ^

it's waaay too late for Warde to even think about it (not that he'd be inclined, anyway). Could you imagine the uproar among Michigan fans who travel any kind of distance?

The sudden schedule change would seriously disrupt travel plans, and not just for airline passengers. There'd be a mad scramble for nearby hotel rooms, too.

The difference between noon and 3:30 games involves some moderate inconveniences when there's a late decision on game times. OTOH, a late decision on whether to kick off at 8 rather than 3:30? A potential logistical nightmare.


September 16th, 2016 at 7:17 PM ^

These are useful columns. A lot of this is stuff I know from years of doing this, but info like this is priceless for someone who has never considered a second-hand ticket before.

And people who have never done it might not even realize it can be done. There are thousands of fans who could experience the joy of attending a single Michigan game if they realized that it was so doable.

FWIW I definitely prefer spending a bit extra to know where I will sit, but I'm old and I don't get to go to many games anymore.


September 16th, 2016 at 10:57 PM ^

I need some help from my mgoblog brethren! I have season tickets and have already arrived in AA, unfortunately without my paper tickets. Is there anyone that can help me as to what steps to take in the morning to secure replacements? Will call?


September 17th, 2016 at 10:17 AM ^

are more passionate about their team but Michigan's fan's are smartest. You see Michigan's football fans if they are offered a exorbitant amount of money for their ticket will sell. I would. Ohio State fan's. You could offer same amount wouldn't sell. Just the way it is. Game's won on the field. Go Blue!!!!!!

You Only Live Twice

September 17th, 2016 at 10:46 AM ^

Thanks for this tracking Seth!  Hoping that the MSU ticket prices drop.  If we go, I need 4 tickets and right now that's a lot of money for my household.  

Sparty fans less likely to attend if ND beats them tonight which is very possible.

Oh.  Edit:  Thank you, Stillwell angel.


September 17th, 2016 at 10:27 PM ^

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