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Alabama Football Draws Priciest Tickets for College's Kickoff Classic


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- College football season is about to begin and that means it's time for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic.

The Classic has been around since 2008. In its six seasons, the University of Alabama has appeared three times. This year Alabama faces West Virginia. Crimson Tide fans will be very familiar with the host site of the classic, the Georgia Dome, thanks to the team’s numerous appearances in the Classic and SEC Championship Game.

Both universities get a cut of the revenue generated from the Kickoff’s $5.5 million budget. As recently as 2008 that meant $2 million for both Alabama and its opponent that year, Clemson. That payout could be even bigger this season if demand for Chick Fil-A Kickoff tickets on the secondary market is any indication.

The game currently has an average secondary market price of $192 on the secondary market, which is the most expensive in the last four years. A high secondary market average isn’t surprising since Alabama football tickets are some of the most expensive in the country, according to TiqIQ.

There will also be a second game as part of the Classic this year, only the second time that has happened since the game has been implemented. The other time was in 2012 when Tennessee, North Carolina State, Clemson and Auburn participated.

This year, the second game is between Boise State and Ole Miss. The game is actually being played before the Alabama game, with the date set for Aug. 28. With an average price of $112, it’s the least expensive Classic game in the last four years. It’s also the earliest date for series after the Aug. 30 start in 2008. The latest date for the Classic was Sept. 5 when Alabama and Virginia Tech played. Next year, the game will be between Auburn and Louisville on Sept. 5, the first game on the Auburn football schedule.

The Classic has been so successful in recent seasons that it has recently led to an imitator -- the Advocare Texas Kickoff hosted at Houston’s NRG Stadium for its second year. Last year the game was between Oklahoma State and Mississippi, but only drew 35,000 fans. The average price of the game was a low $76 on the secondary market.

This season the game is the first on the LSU football schedule, with the Tigers playing a tough Wisconsin team. The profile of the two teams -- especially LSU -- has led to a big increase in fan interest. The game is averaging $209 on the secondary market, making this year’s version more expensive than the Chick Fil-A Classic.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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