Market Report: 2018 College Football Conference Championship Game Tickets
November 7, 2018
With rivalry weekend over, all of the Power Five conference championships are set, and demand for the SEC title game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Georgia is the highest of the five. The $776 average asking price is the second most expensive of the decade for the SEC and for all Power Five conference championships, according to secondary ticket marketplace TicketIQ.com. The most expensive was last season’s SEC title game, which settled at $945.
The average asking price for this year’s game has dipped from a high of $820, but is the priciest of the five by far. The next most expensive game is the Big 12 championship, which pits No. 5 Oklahoma against No. 14 Texas, and has an average asking price of $331. The cheapest is $90 for a ticket to the PAC-12 championship between No. 11 Washington and No. 17 Utah.
Several of the Power Five conference championships will affect the College Football Playoff. While Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame appear to have their spots wrapped up, the fourth spot could go to either Georgia or No. 5 Ohio State, which flew up the rankings after manhandling Michigan, 62-39. It appears as though Georgia must beat Alabama to hang on to the fourth spot. If the Bulldogs don’t, and Ohio State beats Northwestern in the Big Ten title game, then the Buckeyes may well get the invite.
Below is a look at how the Power Five conference championships shape up:
ACC Championship Game - No. 2 Clemson vs. Pittsburgh
- When/Where: December 1, 2018 at Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte)
- Average asking price: $105
- Get-in price: $46
Clemson finished the season undefeated and will now be looking for its second shot at a national championship in three seasons. The Tigers upset then No. 1 Alabama in the national championship following the 2016 season. And last year, they got to the national semifinals before losing to, yep, you guessed it, Alabama. Clemson should have a fairly easy time against unranked Pittsburgh, winners of the Coastal Division. The ACC champion usually heads to the Camping World Bowl and plays a Big 12 team, but if Clemson wins, expect them to get a CFP invite instead. According to TicketIQ.com, the average asking price for this game has dropped from $164 in early November to $105. It is the second cheapest Power Five conference championship, ahead of only the PAC-12.
BIG 12 Championship Game: No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Texas
- When/Where: December 1, 2018 at AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.)
- Average asking price: $331
- Get-in price: $124
This is one of four Power Five conference championships to feature two ranked teams. In fact, the Big 12 ended the regular season with four teams in the Top 25. This game will be a rematch of that regular-season barnburner, which ended in a 48-45 Texas victory. Hard to say if there’s really a favorite in this game, but it’s the only one of the Power Five conference championships that has seen an increase in average asking price on the secondary market, according to TicketIQ.com. Since early November, demand haspushed the average asking price to $331 from $285, and it is the second most expensive Power Five conference championship behind the SEC. This game will mark only the second time since 2010 that the Big 12 champion will be determined by a championship game. The winner of this game likely won’t be in the CFP mix, and will accept the annual invitation to the Sugar Bowl.
Big Ten Championship Game: No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 21 Northwestern
- When/Where: December 1, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
- Average asking price: $211
- Get-in price: $87
This matchup isn’t completely unexpected, but Ohio State’s whipping of Michigan sure was. The Buckeyes sent Michigan down to No. 7 in the CFP rankings and out of the mix for the national championship last weekend. Ohio State has to win this game to have a shot at taking that No. 4 ranking away from Georgia and getting a CFP invite. The Buckeyes’ only loss this season was to Purdue, otherwise, they’d be in the top four. Saturday’s game is only the eighth conference championship in Big Ten history and the fifth to pit the East winner vs. the West. Ohio State has won three national championships this century, the most recent in 2014. The average asking price for this game has dropped from $260 in early November to $211, according to TicketIQ.com, and it is the third priciest of all the Power Five conference championships.
PAC-12 Championship Game: No. 11 Washington vs. No. 17 Utah
- When/Where: November 30, 2018 at Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco Bay Area)
- Average asking price: $90
- Get-in price: $31
The cheapest of all the Power Five conference championships, Washington-Utah isn’t moving the needle much, and it probably doesn’t help that it’s not a home game for either team. According to TicketIQ.com, the average asking price on the secondary market is $90, down from $129 earlier this month. The get-in price is only $31. This game will be a repeat of the second game of the season, in which the Huskies beat the Utes, 21-7, in Salt Lake City. The game is the eighth conference championship in PAC-12 history. Washington is playing for the second time and Utah is making its first appearance. The winner will play the Big Ten winner (unless that OSU gets a CFP invite) in the Rose Bowl.
SEC Championship Game: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Georgia
- When/Where: December 1, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)
- Average asking price: $776
- Get-in price: $325
This game appears to be a must-win for Georgia, if it wants a shot at the CFP. After Ohio State dismantled Michigan on Saturday, the Buckeyes jumped to No. 5, and a victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship could move them into the top four. The game is rematch of last year’s national championship, in which Alabama overcame a 13-point deficit to win. Alabama has won the last four meetings and holds a 39-25-4 series advantage. This is the most expensive of the Power Five conference championships, though at $776 on the secondary market, according to TicketIQ.com, the average asking price has dropped from a high of $820. The SEC winner traditionally goes to the Sugar Bowl, but no matter who wins, the winner will likely go to a CFP semifinal.