The upcoming January 8 meeting between the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl appears to be the latest bowl game having trouble selling tickets. Much like the University of Connecticut’s recent trouble selling their required allotment of Tostitos Fiesta Bowl tickets, both teams in the Compass Bowl are also falling short.
Under their agreement with the Compass Bowl, each school is required to purchase 10,000 tickets to be resold to fans and alums at the face value cost of $50 a piece. However, current estimates indicate that the University of Pittsburgh reportedly has only managed to sell between 2,000 and 3,000 tickets, while the University of Kentucky has sold upwards of 4,000. Should either school be unable to sell their allotment of tickets, the school will be forced to eat the loss in profits.
Speculation behind the slow sales ranges from the still recovering economy, the location of the bowl game in Birmingham, AL, and the lower profile of the Compass Bowl in comparison to past bowl games- particularly for the historically strong Pittsburgh football program. But whatever the reasoning behind the slow sales, one thing is clear- both teams stand to register large losses in profits should they fail to sell their allotted tickets.
The Birmingham News is reporting that at their current sales level, the University of Pittsburgh stands to lose roughly $400,000. With one of the key reasons behind accepting post-season bowl games being the potential for profits for the schools and their conferences, the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars is hardly an appetizing thought for any school.
But is does not appear to be all bad news for the Compass Bowl. The bowl’s manager of sales and marketing, Bob Kerr, told The Birmingham News that corporate ticket packages for the game are selling better than expected. Kerr believes that if the sales continue on their current pace, locally bought tickets will outsell last year’s local ticket sales.