Let’s just say this is a cautionary tale for Auburn — and Florida State — folks who will be making the long trip to Pasadena in three weeks for the BCS National Championship.
Been there, done that — and have the ticket stub to prove it.
It looks like tickets on the secondary market — the online ticket merchants, eBay and scalpers — are starting at about $800 each. That floor price on tickets with a face value of $325 to $385 will likely rise as the Jan. 6 kickoff in the Rose Bowl draws near, then drop for on-site sales in the final hours prior to kickoff.
That is a normal pattern for a big game ticket.
But as Auburn fans learned four years ago, sometimes normal patterns are not so normal.
Four years ago, our family went to the BCS title when Auburn played Oregon in Glendale, Ariz. We made a decision to purchase tickets on StubHub, the largest of the online ticket outlets.
Turned out to be the smartest move we made.
We needed seven tickets, so we bought them in two purchases from two different sellers. Five of the tickets came quickly and with no problems. I didn’t put my hands on the last two until seven hours before kickoff, after picking them up from a StubHub representative at a restaurant near the stadium.
You see, tickets we purchased for about $700 each two days after the SEC title game in early December were selling for $4,000 or more the week before the title game.
It was insane. At one point, StubHub suspended sales to regroup as the prices soared to unheard-of heights. At that time, it became obvious that a lot of folks who thought they had tickets didn’t.
And we were in that group with two of our tickets.
We could have sold the five we had in hand, plus the two StubHub owed us, for a healthy profit, but we decided against it.
As we left for Arizona the weekend before the Monday night game, StubHub officials assured us we would get our tickets on game day. Our purchase fell under StubHub’s FanProtect Guarantee, which meant if the tickets we bought were not available, StubHub would locate comparable replacement tickets or send a refund.
We didn’t want a refund. And StubHub came through with comparable tickets.
The reason I repeat all of this is because if you are still trying to land tickets for the game, be careful. Make sure you know the source of your tickets. If you are getting them in packages from credible travel agents or from the Auburn or FSU ticket offices, you should be OK.
A lot of things can go wrong on the way to the big game. And if you are going to the BCS title game, drop me an email at the address below. We are going to be telling the stories of Columbus-area fans making the trip to Pasadena.
We would love to hear your story.