Combine two 5-0 teams, bitter in-state rivals and excellent weather and you have a recipe for a high demand of tickets. Considering that is the exact scenario playing out on Saturday in Ann Arbor when Michigan and Michigan State play, it should come as no surprise that the ticket prices for this year's edition of the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy are absolutely through the roof right now.
Online ticket brokers and trading spots are listing tickets for the annual Michigan State University game against the University of Michigan at prices ranging from $160 in the corner, to $655 and $799 apiece behind the MSU bench, to $1,000 and $1,200 on the club level.
The story is much the same on Craigslist, where most tickets range from $225 to $500.
Not only are the prices extremely high, but the buzz in the ticket world is also off the charts for this game.
According to Stubhub.com, one of the nation's largest ticketing brokers, the game is already metro Detroit's No. 1 event of the year, based on an average ticket sales formula (quantity times the average ticket price). It exceeds the Eminem/Jay-Z concerts at Comerica Park and is the top ticket in the rivalry series in the past 10 years -- since Stubhub has tracked it.
"This is actually the No. 1 college football game of the week based on gross sales on our site," Joellen Ferrer, Stubhub's spokesperson, said Tuesday. "It's also among the top five college football games throughout the entire season."
The last two years, tickets have been released the week of the game by Michigan and Michigan State for face value. In 2008, there were actually some really good seats made available to the public just days before the game at Michigan Stadium. One of my friends obtained seats just a couple rows off the field in the south end zone for face value because of this. This time around, however, things are much different, because all of the face value tickets have already been sold. What's more, the chances of finding anything below $100 are slim to none, let alone for face value ($65).
It remains to be seen what the attendance for Saturday will be, but considering how much hype is surrounding this matchup and how much of a demand there is for seats, it's not unrealistic to expect a crowd upwards of 114,000. The record set at the UConn game was 113,090, so at the very least it's looking more and more like that record will be broken yet again.