Breaking Down The Shifting Landscape Of College Football Tickets In Texas

December 9, 2014

There's nothing like football in Texas. Some of the most passionate fans in college football are right in the state of Texas. There are five Division 1 football programs in major conferences in Texas: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU and Baylor. Over the past four years, tickets for home games for these five schools have fluctuated dramatically.

These fluctuations have occurred because of pre-season expectations, Heisman candidates, new stadiums and overall success.

One of the biggest brands in college athletics, let alone college football, are the Texas Longhorns. As of 2010, no athletic department in the nation spends more money than Texas and no program makes as much money as the University of Texas. Texas has fallen upon some tough times in football recently. Since their 13-1 season where the Longhorns went and lost in the national championship game in 2009, Texas hasn't won more than nine games in a season, which ended a nine-year stretch of 10 or more wins. Because of their struggles, ticket prices have struggled recently. In 2011, the secondary ticket market was strong at $155.72 despite Texas having a 5-7 record the previous year. Tickets have then dropped down to $102.96 in 2012, $114.41 in 2013 and $114.01 in 2014.


Texas A&M, on the other hand, has had a much different path than the Longhorns. The Aggies had one of their best seasons in the Big 12 in 2010, going 9-4 and appearing in the Cotton Bowl. Expectations were high going into their last season in the Big 12, so tickets were $134.21, on average, in 2011, second only to Texas in terms of average price of tickets on the secondary ticket market. In 2012, A&M joined the SEC and Johnny Football took over Texas. Johnny Manziel began breaking records right away as the starting QB, which starting raising ticket prices to $181.26, on average, on the secondary ticket market. Since Manziel was returning for his second season as the starting QB, tickets remained in high demand in 2013, averaging $184.92 on the secondary ticket market. While Manziel left for the NFL following the 2013 season, A&M home games still remained a hot ticket despite an average price drop down to $141.12 on the secondary ticket market. Since 2012, A&M games have been the most ticket on the secondary ticket market in Texas.


Despite having a Heisman-winning quarterback at Baylor in 2011, the Bears have been the cheapest ticket on the secondary ticket market in Texas. Robert Griffin III finished his career at Baylor in 2011 and despite their 10-3 record and a trip to the Alamo Bowl, tickets remained a low $49 on average on the secondary ticket market. While ticket prices on average raised in 2012 ($55.02) and 2013 ($63.79), it wasn't until 2014 that prices came close to the other Division 1 schools in Texas. Prices skyrocketed in 2014 to $149.50 and became the second-hottest college football ticket in Texas. This was due to two factors: the opening of McLane Stadium, the new home of the Baylor Bears, and a fantastic season. Baylor has now tied for first in the Big 12 in two consecutive years.

Both TCU and Texas Tech followed similar patterns for tickets on the secondary market. In 2014, ticket prices for TCU and Texas Tech were the highest they had been $136.21 and $113.24 respectively. Like Baylor, TCU has been able to have some recent success on the football field. TCU's prices dropped in 2012 ($75.26) while Tech's prices dropped, too, to $75.26. The drop was compared to the 2011 prices that were $99.70 (Texas Tech) and $51.15 (TCU) Ticket prices slightly went up in 2013 for TCU ($78.22) while Texas Tech ($103.41) almost doubled from the previous season.