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Sports NCAA Football

In Some Markets, College Football Rivals the NFL in Popularity

September 08, 2017 by Stephen

College Football vs. NFL

The NFL is a ticket juggernaut, but in some markets, college football teams are rivaling their professional counterparts in popularity.

Vivid Seats analyzed September ticket trends in five major markets around the country, comparing September home game ticket prices between NFL, MLB and certain college football franchises.

The results varied significantly by market: In Seattle, Boston and Chicago, the NFL teams outpace the sales of their MLB and college football counterparts:

NFL Pricing Preview

The Patriots’ median ticket price for September home games checks in at $476, far exceeding that of Boston College football ($133) and the Red Sox ($50). Seattle shows a similar pattern, with Seahawks games pricing higher ($256) than Washington football ($49) and the Mariners ($32).

In Chicago, the Bears are the most expensive team to watch ($224), with the Cubs a not-too-distance second ($92). The White Sox ($20) and Northwestern football ($10) present good value for Chicago-area sports fans during the month of September.

Los Angeles and Detroit Buck the Trend

Detroit and Los Angeles are home to two of the country’s hottest college football programs—the Jim Harbaugh-led Michigan Wolverines and national title contender USC, respectively. Ticket prices for premier college football games in both cities are nearly as expensive as those of the local NFL teams.

The median ticket prices for USC tickets sold through Vivid Seats for September home games is $70—slightly less than tickets to see the Los Angeles Rams tickets ($99), with whom USC shares a venue in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Fifteen miles up Interstate 110, tickets to watch UCLA Football at the Rose Bowl in September are even closer to Rams’ prices at $79.

The Dodgers, who are in the midst of a historically impressive regular season, are a relative bargain at $34.

In the greater Detroit area, tickets to watch Michigan Football ($95) on Saturdays are nearly as expensive as those to watch the Lions on Sundays ($100). In Lansing, fans are paying $50 to watch Michigan State football, nearly double the price that fans are paying to watch the Tigers ($26).

Michigan’s high ticket prices perhaps should not come as a surprise: It ranks among the Top 10 most expensive college football teams to watch during the 2017 season:


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