How and When to Buy College Football Playoff Tickets

Update 12/12/18

Over the last two years, the first four semi final games had an average price of $263 on the secondary market, with the cheapest tickets under $100. For the 2015 Orange Bowl where Clemson played Oklahoma, tickets could be had for $32, well below face price. Only the Alabama and Washington 2017 game, whch was the Georgia Dome’s final Peach Bowl Peach Bowl, had prices typical of a New Year’s 6 Bowl. This year, both games are historically high, with Sugar Bowl tickets for Bama-Clemson III at an all-time high, while ticket prices for Rose bowl tickets between Oklahoma and Georgia are the third-highest TicketIQ has ever tracked.

If Georgia is able to beat Baker Mayfield to secure a spot in Atlanta for the championship game, tickets are currently available starting from $1,900, four times the price last year at the same time and up about $300 since the playoff seeding was set. The good news for all those Georgia fans spending money on the semi-final game is that for the National Championship they’d be able sleep in their own bed, and maybe even drive to the game. As the below chart shows this is now the most expensive National Championship game TicketIQ has tracked in 8 years.



For the second season the champion of college football will be decided with a playoff. In the second year of a three year bowl rotation, the semifinals for this year’s College Football Playoff will be played during the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl. Unlike last year, the bowl games will be played on New Year’s Eve instead of New Year’s Day. Just like last year, ticket prices for those games on the secondary market are starting to drop.

In both years so far -- and all we have is two years of data for these games -- prices peak immediately after the matchups are announced then drop until game time. As the chart below shows, some drastic dips in average price have happened and should still be expected.

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Last year the average price for the Rose Bowl and Sugar dropped at least 30% from the time of the matchup announcement to the kickoff of the first game of the bowl season and then continued to drop until New Year’s Day. There’s already a similar drop happening for this year’s two College Football Playoff semifinal games.

The Cotton Bowl, which will hold No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Michigan State, has seen a 30% drop in average price from the matchup announcement and now sits at $321.44. No. 1 Clemson will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and the average price for that game has already dropped an outstanding 40% with a current average of $276.99.

With just over a week to go until those games will kick off and the games sold out, it’s likely those prices will continue to drop as New Year’s Eve approaches.

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