Just like last year, Michigan will play Ohio State on Saturday for the Big Ten Championship.
But this year’s game isn’t as big as last year’s showdown between the two teams, in large part because both have lost at least one game and the winner will likely get a spot in the Rose Bowl, not the National Championship.
And that’s driving down the prices of tickets to one of sports’ most famous rivalries.
Scalped ticket prices for this year’s Michigan-Ohio State game are way down from the heights they reached before last year’s matchup.
The highest listing on eBay.com last night was $2,600 for two tickets in Section 40, Row 1. That may seem like a hefty sum, but compared with last year’s highest listing of $10,000, it’s a bargain.
Tickets on other websites are also much cheaper this year. Stubhub.com’s most expensive ticket was $863 last night. On ticketsnow.com, the highest listing was $1,418. On the Monday before last year’s game, the highest price on stubhub.com was $4,500 and $3,095 on ticketsnow.com.
LSA freshman Jamie Keith waited to list his ticket on facebook.com until after Saturday’s game against Wisconsin, hoping a victory would inflate prices.
“I waited until after this weekend to sell my ticket because I thought we were definitely going to beat Wisconsin,” Keith said. “But the loss just kind of messed up my plans of making money.”
Engineering freshman Ian Hughes said he got the idea to sell his ticket from one of his friends. His friend was able to get $550 dollars, but the maximum offer Hughes received was $250, he said.
The offer was not what he was expecting.
“I was thinking I was going to get $350, but no one really offered that much,” he said. Hughes ultimately decided not to sell his ticket.
Keith, though, still plans to sell his ticket. He said he is willing to take less than he expected as long as he makes money.
“I think the base price is $200 but I think I might end up selling it for $150,” he said. “I wanted to sell the ticket for the money. I can get more money for the one ticket than I paid for the entire season.”
This year’s football student season tickets cost $194.
Whether he makes as much money as he is hopes or not, Keith said one thing is for sure: “If we do lose to OSU I’m pretty much going to laugh at all my friends who told me not to sell.”
The state of Michigan has stricter laws governing the resale of tickets than Ohio. Last year’s game was in Columbus.
Michigan prohibits sellers from selling their ticket for more than face value. Ohio is not among them.
Two University departments are responsible for monitoring ticket holders’ adherence to the anti-scalping law, Athletic Department spokesman Bruce Madej said.
The Department of Public Safety finds scalpers on the streets of Ann Arbor while the Athletic Department tracks listings on websites like eBay, he said.
Ticket scalpers who get caught can face the loss of their season tickets.