The Towson University football team, which is scheduled to play a road game October 1 against intrastate rival Maryland, has taken the unusual step of returning its allotment of tickets for the game and is urging fans to buy less expensive ones on the resale market.
Towson received the tickets from Maryland, but contractually the school is obligated to price them at the face value of $38 each. However, tickets for the game have subsequently turned up on the secondary market for considerably less, so in a recent release the school is urging its fans to turn to StubHub and other ticket marketplace or broker sites.
According to ticket search engine SeatGeek, tickets for the game on some resale sites were listed for as low as $9 as of today, September 19, but according to a Towson official the school was finding tickets for even less.
“Since we have received this allotment from [Maryland], the secondary ticket market has been flooded with deeply discounted tickets starting as low as $4 per seat,” Mike Harris, Towson’s senior associate director of athletics for external operations, said in a statement. “Like last season with Morgan State, Maryland included additional complimentary tickets to its season ticket holders as part of their package. The result is that there is a high concentration of tickets available at a significantly lower price than what [Towson] Athletics is able to offer. As such, we have returned our consignment tickets to [Maryland] and we are encouraging our fans to seek tickets directly from [Maryland] Athletics or via the secondary market.
“Tickets on the secondary market are more affordable and they are located in better viewing locations,” he added.
According to published reports from earlier this season, Maryland struggled with ticket sales and placed some tickets on online discounter Groupon to help with sales.
The issue of ticket allotments can be a thorny one for many colleges, because the tickets typically carry mandatory face values to maximize revenues, and in an attempt to protect season ticket holders or others who may have paid face value.
But, with a robust secondary market, and certain college teams or games struggling to draw fans in the current tough economy, tickets can often become very inexpensive as fans and resellers look to recoup at least a portion of their outlay.
For example, the issue came back to haunt the University of Connecticut recently when the school could not sell out its 10,000-ticket allotment for the Fiesta Bowl and ended up taking a $1.6 million loss.