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A Tough Ticket

January 2009 A Tough Ticket

A Tough Ticket
Don't expect to get your seat now for face value

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
January 6, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- If you haven't acquired tickets for Thursday night's BCS national championship game, you're probably not going. If you're trying to live on any sort of budget, be glad you're not.

A ticket to get inside of Dolphins Stadium for the showdown between Oklahoma and Florida is an extremely hot commodity.

"Because Florida is in it and there are a tremendous amount of alumnae within a close proximity, the demand is very great," said Larry Wahl, the Orange Bowl's vice president of media and public relations. "But Oklahoma has really held its own."

But it's costing fans a healthy amount of money.

The face value of a ticket to Thursday night's game is $175. If that's what you paid, you were one of the lucky ones.

Each school was give an allotment of 16,000 tickets that were gobbled up before the Sooners and Gators even qualified for the game. Both schools sell bowl tickets through pre-orders, meaning they were purchased in most cases before the season began. A small portion were sold through a lottery system. About 30,000 are given away through sponsorship deals.

Tickets can still be found online, but they come with a hefty price tag.

The cheapest ticket available at Stubhub.com is $519. Razorgator.com can get someone into the upper corner of one of the end zones for $654. Ticketcity.com will release a pair for $550.

Most are expecting Florida fans to pay top dollar to get in the game. It's one of the advantages of being the state school in the state where the game is played. Sooner fans are having to pay an average $150 a hotel room, according to the Miami Herald. A flight to one of South Florida's three major airports averages around $400.

Sooner players aren't expecting Dolphins Stadium to feel like their home away from home.

"It is somewhat of a home game for them because it's in Florida," OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "Once you get inside the white lines it doesn't matter. You can take two teams and put them out on the practice field and it's going to be the same game."

Of course, it won't be the first time the passion of Sooner fans has been overlooked. Thursday's game will be the Sooners' 42nd bowl appearance and 19th in Miami dating back to 1939. That means roughly three generations of OU fans have been making the trip to South Florida over the years.

If they're going to come this far, odds are they'll figure out a way to get into the game.

"We have as good of fans as anybody in the country, and they'll be there not only in spirit bit in large numbers as well," OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "Plus everyone likes to pull for the underdog, right? So I think we're pulling for all those corporate sponsors and tickets to lean in Oklahoma's favor."
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