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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2006
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Cotton Bowl tickets going cheap

By Eric Olson
Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. — Tickets for the Cotton Bowl are so cheap that a family of four could see the New Year's Day game between Nebraska and Auburn in Dallas for less than $100.

The lowest price found Tuesday, on TicketLiquidator.com, was $10 for a ticket with a face value of $45. StubHub.com was selling a $90 face-value ticket for just $12.

"Ten dollars is as low as anyone would sell them for, so you could say the ticket has hit bottom with the Cotton Bowl," TicketLiquidator CEO Don Vaccaro said.

TicketLiquidator, of Vernon, Conn., and San Francisco-based StubHub are among the online marketplaces that bring together ticket buyers and sellers. StubHub spokesman Sean Pate said the so-called "secondary market" gives a true indication of how hot — or cold — a ticket is.

Typically, fans go to the secondary market for hard-to-get tickets — and often pay significantly more than face value.

Buyers are getting the better end of the deal with the Cotton Bowl.

TicketsNow.com had $15 tickets, and several other online brokers had plenty listed for $20. Prime seats still go for several hundred dollars, but what surprises Pate is how little it costs for fans just to get into the stadium.

"Those tickets are dropping to unforeseen territory for a bowl game of that magnitude," Pate said.

Neither Nebraska nor Auburn had sold out its allotment of 12,500 tickets, all priced at $90.

All but about 3,500 of the 68,252 Cotton Bowl stadium seats have a face value of $90.

Omaha-based Ticket Express is getting 10 calls from people trying to sell Cotton Bowl tickets for every one trying to buy, president Chad Carr said.

Carr, like others in the travel and ticket business, say fans aren't enamored with Dallas as a destination. Brokers say Nebraska fans are let down after the Huskers lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

Same goes for Auburn fans, who saw their Tigers' national championship hopes end
with a November loss to Georgia.

The 10:38 a.m. kickoff time also is difficult to overcome, Carr said, as is the unpredictable January weather in Dallas.

At StubHub, the average price for a Cotton Bowl ticket is $90, with $406 the highest paid so far. Pate said he expects the average to fall as the game nears.

The average price is 19th among the 32 bowls and ranks behind games such as the Texas Bowl ($100), Music City Bowl ($116), Emerald Bowl ($125) and Alamo Bowl ($138).

The Bowl Championship Series title game, Pate said, is fetching an average of $1,400.

Jason Randall, CEO of Austin-based Coast to Coast Tickets, said he's not caught off-guard by the low Cotton Bowl ticket prices because the stadium is large and the matchup pits teams from distant places.

"When there's not a championship on the line, it makes it a lot harder to justify the travel expense," Randall said. "If (the University of Texas) were playing in the Cotton Bowl against an interesting opponent, maybe that would shake things up. As it is, this game isn't that big a deal."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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