December 28, 2012
Music City sales sailing, while Gator struggles
When head football coach James Franklin accepted the bid to the bowl, which plays just three miles from the VU campus in Nashville, Franklin said he wanted the stadium to be packed with Black and Gold. "Our opponent gets 12,000 tickets," said Franklin, "so that leaves 58,000 for Vanderbilt fans."
Some may have taken that as hyperbole. But with just three days left, it appears that may actually be realistic.
According to Eric Jones, VU's Director of Ticketing, Vanderbilt's ticket office has sold more than 18,000 tickets through their box office. Couple that with the tickets likely sold through other portals, LP Field may look like a Vanderbilt home game.
Or even better.
"I think a lot of Vanderbilt fans will be shocked when they see how much Black and Gold is in the stadium," said Jones. "We sold around 11,000 tickets for the Liberty Bowl, and we estimated around 30,000 Vandy fans were there. If that holds true this year, we think it is reasonable to expect even more in Nashville."
VU sold their initial 12,000 seat allotment within the first two days of them going on sale. Vanderbilt immediately requested a second allotment, which continued to sell consistently up until this past week. Vanderbilt has sold out every ticket they were allotted in the lower, middle and club levels.
In addition, Jones said that after the first week of ticket sales North Carolina State knew they were not going to be able to sell the 8,000 seat allotment required to be purchased by the ACC's participant. Vanderbilt immediately stepped in and purchased whatever seats NC State felt they were going to be stuck with. Schultz said that number was somewhere around 3,000 tickets.
"It is a win-win for everyone," said Jones. "The Music City Bowl is happy, NC State is happy, and of course we are happy. We end up being able to get good seats for our fans."
Jones said Vanderbilt was very strategic with which blocks of seats they purchased for fans. At the Liberty Bowl, Vanderbilt had the east side of the stadium, and Cincinnati had the west. But because VU and the Music City Bowl anticipated a light turnout by State, VU decided to purchase seats on all sides of the stadium. That means it will likely appear as though 90 percent of the stadium is pro-Vanderbilt.
"We think Vandy fans will be very surprised at what they see when they get there," said Jones.
Gator Bowl sales continue to slumpMany Vanderbilt fans were incensed when The Gator Bowl chose to select Mississippi State over the Commodores. While both teams had identical 8-4 records, State was felt to be a better bet to sell more tickets.
Apparently, that has not been the case.
According to sources close to the bowl and the two participating school's respective ticket office, ticket sales have been disappointing.
MSU has not come close to selling their initial 15,000 allotment. On December 11, State athletics director Scott Stricklin was quoted via Twitter that State was "closing in" on 9,000 tickets sold. Nortwestern, MSU's opponent, won't say how many tickets they have sold, only claiming they were "47 percent" higher than last year's Texas Bowl sales.
Currently, one can purchase an Upper Level ticket for the Gator Bowl for 99 cents on Stub Hub, with more than 3,000 tickets left to sell. EverBank Field seats around 77,000.
The lowest price Stub Hub currently lists a Music City Bowl ticket is $11.00. Just 1,016 tickets remain. LP Field seats around 70,000 for Tennessee Titans NFL games.
For what it's worth, if the Gator Bowl's school allotment is as high as 15,000, that would be an enormous requirement for accepting a bid to the bowl. The Capital One Bowl, a BCS-level event, has a school allotment of "just" 12,500. Nebraska, by the way, has apparently sold only 4,000 of its Cap One allotment. (The Cap One Bowl was forced by the Big Ten Conference leadership to select Nebraska over NU.)
This year's king of the ticket sales hill appears to be Ole Miss. Like Vanderbilt, the Rebels immediately sold their initial Compass Bowl ticket allotment (set at 10,000), and like VU bought about 4,000 of Pittsburgh's allotment. Ole Miss reports they have sold north of 21,000 tickets through the university, which is believed to be the most for any SEC bowl participant.
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