Many seats available for Saturday’s Big Ten title game

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Don Walker, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thursday, December 1, 2011
— Ticket sales for Saturday’s Big Ten football championship game between the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University in Indianapolis have picked up, but there are plenty of seats available for as low as $10.

A StubHub spokeswoman said that as of late Wednesday afternoon, more than 5,000 seats were still available on its website. StubHub is a major secondary ticket marketplace.

Justin Doherty, a UW spokesman, said the university was allotted 15,000 tickets for the game, of which approximately 13,100 were sold. The rest were sent to Indianapolis for sale.

The face value of game tickets ranged between $80 and $175. The game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium, which has a capacity of 66,628.

Earlier this week, sales for the game were soft, ticket brokers and online brokers reported. That prompted online rumors that the Big Ten, anxious to avoid a marketing embarrassment, were looking for fans to fill in empty seats.

On Wednesday morning, the Big Ten Conference took the unusual step of publishing on its Twitter page the following note: “Fans, please be aware, regarding the Big Ten Football Championship Game, the Big Ten is NOT paying fans to attend. #B1GFCG.”

Fred Benz, a ticket broker who runs Ticket King in Wisconsin, said there were several theories why demand for the game has been soft, even though the winner of the game gets to go to the Rose Bowl in January.

He said the quick turnaround between the end of the regular season and the championship game could have accounted for soft ticket sales. Another possibility is that the UW men’s basketball team meets Marquette University on Saturday afternoon in Madison, which could dampen interest in the football game.

Last, there may be some fans who are holding back to see if UW wins the game and punches its ticket to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.

“I’m a little surprised so far,” Benz said of demand for the game. “I thought there would be more interest. Maybe people are waiting for the Rose Bowl.”

A Big Ten spokeswoman in Indianapolis said tickets were still available for the game. The game will be broadcast on Fox. Kickoff is 7:17 p.m.

Last updated: 7:12 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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