Auburn has been the story of the year in college football this season for reasons that go far beyond the stellar on-field performance of the Tigers, who will advance to the BCS National Championship Game by beating South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference Championship (SEC) Saturday, December 4. So it’s no surprise that the demand for tickets to the SEC title tilt far exceed the supply.
As of early this afternoon, Friday, December 3, StubHub.com had just 205 tickets available to the game, which will be held in the 71,228-seat Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The cheapest ticket was listed at $349.99 for an Upper Corner seat, while at the high end, a Lower Sideline ticket was listed for $990.
“This week, everyday, it gains steam,” Steve Susce, the owner of AAATix in Alabama, told TicketNews. “I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. Monday was good, Tuesday was better, Wednesday was better. Usually that’s not the trend. Sometimes the market kind of slips a little bit. But this is definitely taken a spike.”
Auburn opened the season as a relative afterthought both in Alabama, where the Tigers regularly play second fiddle to the University of Alabama, and in the national polls. Auburn was ranked 22nd in the Associated Press preseason poll, a mere 21 spots behind Alabama, which won its eighth national title last year.
But Auburn stormed into the national title picture on the right arm and both legs of quarterback Cam Newton, who has accounted for 43 touchdowns in leading the Tigers to six wins by a touchdown or less — including last weekend’s dramatic 28-27 win over Alabama in which Auburn came back from a 24-0 deficit and further fueled the belief amongst Tigers fans that, for the first time since the program won its lone national championship in 1957, this is their year.
“We have Auburn and Alabama — it’s like having the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears in the same town,” Susce said. “We’re used to [a national title contender] as ticket brokers, but the Auburn family is just trying to get a little taste of what Alabama [has].”
Newton has also created headlines as details of his recruitment to Auburn from Blinn College have come to light. Newton’s father, Cecil, and family friend Kenny Rogers reportedly told schools it would take $200,000 to sign Newton. SEC rival Mississippi State reported Auburn to the NCAA which spent most of November investigating the allegations. Newton was briefly declared ineligible earlier this week by Auburn but had his eligibility restored when the NCAA ruled he wasn’t a part of the pay-for-play plot devised by his father and Rogers.
“Joe Fan, a fan of other teams, is definitely interested, as you can tell — the two most-watched games this year were the Georgia-Auburn game [Saturday, November 13] and the Auburn-Alabama game,” Susce said. “Everyone’s focused on one player — number two [Newton’s uniform number].”