The annual showcase of SEC football’s place as the country’s best conference, the SEC championship game in Atlanta, is not that at all — at least according to the secondary ticket market.
According to data provided by Vivid Seats*, the get-in-the-door price for available tickets to the game Saturday between SEC West champ No. 1 Alabama and SEC East winner No. 15 Florida is $76. Median ticket prices are hovering around $147. To put those numbers in perspective, tickets for a non-championship Big 12 game between No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State are only slightly cheaper (minimum price $75, median price $125).
The low ticket prices extend to actual sold tickets. The average price paid for a ticket to the championship game last season, also between Alabama and Florida, was $353. The average this season has dipped to $292.
Likely causing the drop in demand for tickets has to be Alabama’s dominance throughout the 2016 season. In their last six games, the Tide outscored their opponents 204-42 … and that includes a 31-point “down performance” against Chattanooga.
But let’s also consider Florida’s ugly, 31-13 loss to close the regular season against Florida State. Though the Gators are ranked 15th, that loss brought back eerie memories of a season ago. In 2015, Florida lost to its in-state rival before getting waxed in the SEC title game by Alabama and then Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
From interpreting the secondary ticket market, fans don’t see the value in attending a game in which the outcome is largely presumed.
It isn’t all bad, however. The SEC title game is still the most expensive ticket of any conference championship.
The Pac-12 championship between No. 4 Washington and No. 9 Colorado is the next priciest. This game at Levi’s Stadium can be seen for as little as $10, while average tickets run $90. The worst of the bunch is the ACC championship, which is being played in Orlando, Fla., this season after House Bill 2 upheaval in North Carolina compelled the conference to move the game from Charlotte. For fans wanting to see No. 3 Clemson and No. 19 Virginia Tech, the cheap seats are $9, and decent tickets are $30.
For comparison’s sake, here are the prices for the conference title games**:
SEC championship: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 15 Florida — Minimum price: $76, median price: $147
Pac-12 championship: No. 4 Washington vs. No. 9 Colorado — Minimum price: $10, median price: $90
Big Ten championship: No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Penn State — Minimum price: $15, median price: $89
MAC championship: No. 13 Western Michigan vs. Ohio — Minimum price: $23, median price: $60
AAC championship: Temple at No. 20 Navy — Minimum price: $14, median price: $40
Mountain West championship: San Diego State vs. Wyoming — Minimum price: $19, median price: $38
ACC championship: No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 19 Virginia Tech — Minimum price: $9, median price: $30
Make sure to check out Vivid Seats to snag any last-minute event tickets.
*Ticket data as of Thursday, Dec. 1
**Not enough ticket inventory to determine prices for C-USA title game between Louisiana Tech and Western Kentucky