Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hokie Bowl Tickets Not So Sweet, Wolfpack Sells Out

According to the Washington Post and Virginia Tech, the ACC-runner up is struggling to sell out its Sugar Bowl allotment of 17,500 tickets.
           
On Monday morning, Virginia Tech confirmed it had sold 9,337 tickets so far and announced a proxy program under which fans who don’t plan on going to New Orleans could buy tickets that would then be donated to military personnel and New Orleans charity organizations.

The Hokies have had issues selling bowl tickets during their past two Orange Bowl trips as fans have flocked to secondary markets such as StubHub for cheaper, and often better, seats. In 2008, the Hokies sold just more than 3,300 tickets for their Orange Bowl matchup with Cincinnati. Last season, Virginia Tech sold upwards of 6,500 tickets for its bowl game against Stanford.

But Virginia Tech’s ability to sell out its ticket allotment has come into the spotlight this year since the Sugar Bowl made a controversial choice, selecting the Hokies over Boise State and Kansas State largely because of their track record for traveling to bowl games. The announcement detailing Virginia Tech’s proxy ticket program asked fans to donate tickets as a way to maintain the school’s “reputation of being a football program that enjoys a strong following to bowl games.”

On the athletic department’s weekly radio show, Tech Talk Live, athletic director Jim Weaver said the school had sold more than 9,500 tickets as of Monday night. He conceded that the secondary market was making the sale of tickets more difficult — the lowest face value of a Sugar Bowl ticket the school can sell is $120, but tickets were going for as low as $50 on StubHub on Tuesday morning.

Conversely, It only took four days for N.C. State to sell its entire ticket allotment of 12,500 for the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. As of Monday morning, more than 17,500 tickets had been sold through the school with that number continuing to rise.

On Dec. 8, Wolfpack officials requested a block of 4,000 additional tickets from the bowl to fulfill orders placed in the first four days since the bowl pairings were announced. By late Sunday, the State athletics department again contacted the bowl to secure additional seats to accommodate fans ordering before the priority deadline.

Total sales for the Dec. 27th game have now eclipsed 53,000 with N.C. State fans purchasing approximately 24,000 tickets. State will hold two open practices this weekend in preparation for the game against Louisville.  

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