Notre Dame-Alabama Title Tickets Drop 50% to $1,496.81

Ticket prices for tonight’s college football national championship game between the University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama have dropped 50 percent in the last month.

The average listing for the Bowl Championship Series title game at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida, is $1,496.81, half the $2,975.49 average on Dec. 1 following the Southeastern Conference championship, according to ticket-aggregator TiqIQ. It is the cheapest day-of average for a BCS Championship in the last three seasons.

TiqIQ spokesman Chris Matcovich said that while it’s not uncommon for ticket prices to fall in the six-week period between the end of the regular season to the national title game, a drop of this magnitude was unusual. He said the decline was due to an abnormally large amount of tickets for sale and longer travel distances for both teams’ fan bases.

“When ticket prices started to drop with this overflow of tickets available, it was too late for many fans because they also would need flights and lodging,” Matcovich said today in an e-mail. “This led to even more market softening.”

Notre Dame (12-0) finished the season with the top BCS ranking, while Alabama (12-1) secured the second spot with a victory over Georgia in the SEC title game. The two schools have combined for 1,691 victories and 16 Associated Press national championships in 70 years.

Alabama is a 9 1/2-point favorite, the largest spread for a national title game since 2003. Las Vegas oddsmakers have estimated that the popularity of the two teams may lead to a worldwide betting handle of more than $2 billion.

Previous Drops

Tickets for last year’s BCS championship in New Orleans, in which Alabama beat Louisiana State University, dropped 26 percent in five weeks prior to the contest. The year before, when Auburn beat Oregon, ticket prices didn’t dip.

“Although prices dropped leading up to last year’s game, it wasn’t as bad due to the fact that LSU and Alabama are located relatively close to New Orleans,” Matcovich said. “Compared to this year when Alabama fans would have to take a 14-hour drive from Tuscaloosa to Miami.”

There are about 2,200 tickets available on the secondary market for tonight’s game, Matcovich said. A ticket in the front behind the Fighting Irish sideline is $3,800, while a front-row seat behind the Crimson Tide bench is listed for $1,343.

The final average listing for the 2011 BCS championship game was $3,226.70, 115 percent more than tonight’s game, according to TiqIQ. Tickets for last year’s championship averaged $1,918.32.

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