College Football Championship Game Tickets Up 23% From Last Season

osuHelmetWarming the bench as the days grew colder in Columbus, Ohio was Cardale Jones’ priority over the college football season’s first 14 weeks. The redshirt sophomore took to the sidelines regularly for Ohio State, dressed to play but only throwing 17 passes in seven games. Flash forward to the Big Ten Championship Game on December 6, where a slew of injuries to quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett forced Jones to permanently step in under center. A 59-point outburst against Wisconsin made heads turn, but it was his stellar performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Game that catapulted him to overnight fame.

One game now separates Ohio State from claiming the first-ever College Football Playoff Championship, though the Buckeyes will have to get through a formidable foe in Oregon in order to carve their name in the history books. I’ve had a lot of people contact me to see if I could help them get their hands on some tickets for the big game. I had to regretfully inform them that yes, I am an alumni of the greatest university on earth, but no, my alumni contributions don’t put me in that rarefied air of having access to events like this. Such a shame. Fans hoping to watch Jones end his season with a bang at AT&T Stadium will have to open their wallets big, too, as the average price for College Football Championship Game tickets on TiqIQ is now $1,112.27. The game’s cheapest seat looks more like a top NFL team’s home secondary average, with get-in price listed at $417. (That’s a skosh out of my price range)

Such prices are significantly more expensive than last year’s BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Florida State. Held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the average secondary price for tickets was $907.48, marking a price jump of 23% under the new playoff format this season. Jameis Winston and his Seminoles led a spirited late-game drive to defeat the Tigers last January. Cardale Jones will hope to do the same when his Buckeyes take on the Ducks in Texas next Monday.

At 13-1 and 8-0 in Big Ten matchups, the Buckeyes enter the National Championship Game on the heels of a 12-game win streak including monster victories over Wisconsin and Alabama. Oregon will likely serve as their most difficult opponent yet, however, as the Ducks hold the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Marcus Mariota and one of the most dominant offenses in college football. Jones’ ability to lead the Buckeyes over his first three career starts has instigated a sense of confidence in the Ohio State locker room that they’ll need to carry into Arlington next week.

With secondary ticket prices reaching a four-digit average in its inaugural year, the College Football Championship Game will undoubtedly serve as one of the most anticipated events of the New Year. For Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes, an eighth national championship and first-ever under the new playoff format would be a fantastic way to greet 2015.

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