INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Have fans, will travel: That is the story between the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa, teams that’ll go head-to-head Saturday in Indianapolis for the Big Ten College Football Championship.
Because of the history in these teams’ efforts to make it to the big matchup, along with their proximity to Indianapolis, experts say that played a big role in making the demand for tickets and hotel rooms for this game, unlike anything the city has ever seen.
Wolverines and Hawkeyes will flood downtown Indianapolis ahead of the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
“The demand is fantastic with the draw we got,” said Renny Harrison, owner of Fanfare Tickets.
With it being Michigan’s first time in the championship and Iowa’s second, fans are proving eager to see their teams on the big stage at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We did see a tremendous spike in pricing as soon as each team guaranteed their spot Saturday, and prices are higher than we have ever seen for the Big Ten Championship Game in the past,” Harrison said.
Public tickets for the game sold out quickly. Ryan Vaughn, president of Indiana Sports Corp, said, “We basically sold out of tickets right after the Michigan-Ohio State game on Saturday. Our emails kind of blew up, and we were able to clear all remaining inventory. I know the same has been true for the hotels.”
Now if fans want to try and score a seat, they will have to rely on secondary ticket selling sites such as Fanfare Tickets, where Harrison says tickets on Tuesday were ranging from $300 for the upper level to around $500 for the lower level.
Fans looking for club seats can expect to pay in the thousands of dollars.
Vaughn added, “Historically this weekend, the Big Ten Football Championship is probably one of our highest demand hotel room nights of the year and it is annually our highest Airbnb night as well.”
The game alone is expected to bring in 66,000 people with a sellout crowd, but, over the course of the next four days, Indiana Sports Corp anticipates a number closer to 100,000 visitors as people come to take part in the festivities surrounding the game.
“Ultimately, for the most part, we have been sold out or close to selling out for ultimately the last several weeks,” said Phil Ray, general manager of the JW Marriott.
For fans who don’t already have places to stay for this weekend, good luck. Hotels all around downtown are showing “no vacancy.” Fans who get lucky and find a cancelation will pay generously for it. At the JW Marriott, fans can expect last-minute rooms to run around $600 a night.
Ray said, “I have been here 18 years, so I have been here for every Big Ten Football game championship and this is by far the most demand we have ever had.”
A ticket expert advises fans still seeking tickets to keep an eye on the resale sites; prices will fluctuate as game day grows closer. A decrease in price could happen, and more tickets could become available.