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2011 Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech's Ticket Sales Lagging

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Ouch. #Hokies still stuck on roughly 6,500 tickets sold from their 17,500-ticket allotment to the Orange Bowl. Stubhub rejoices, I'm sure.less than a minute ago via web

 

Apparently Hokie fans aren't heeding Frank Beamer's plea to buy Orange Bowl tickets from the ticket office and "nowhere else." Can't say I blame you though, especially when tickets are available for much cheaper elsewhere, including on secondary websites ENDORSED by Virginia Tech.

Yep, go to hokietickets.com and you'll see a big add for the StubHub ticket marketplace along with a link to buy tickets from VT. They're practically inviting us to comparison shop for our Orange Bowl tickets and one look there tells us tickets can be found for a lot cheaper than through the ticket office.

I'm guilty of being part of the problem. When Virginia Tech sold nearly half the number of tickets it's sold so far for this year's bowl game in 2009, I was among those who bought tickets through StubHub and not Virginia Tech. And I paid less than $20 for a club-level ticket that would have cost me probably 10x more through the ticket office.

But the real culprit here isn't the fans who buy tickets from unofficial sources or the ticket office for putting price so far above demand for bowl tickets. It's the bowl itself, which forces schools to buy a very large number of tickets, some of them in less than ideal locations in the stadium.

That trend was chronicled by Sports Illustrated earlier this year. Between tickets and travel, most schools just try to break even on their bowl trips. The bowls will always prosper from their own existence but the schools suffer. It's a broken system, but no school in their right mind is willing to rebel against it.

Until that day comes or we get a playoff, Beamer and Jim Weaver are going to have to keep begging fans to buy from the ticket office and reject the better deals they can find at places like StubHub.