Bowl season is officially here, showcasing the nation's top college football teams in 40 games over the next five weeks.
And while fans prepare for the College Football Playoff Semifinals on New Year's Eve, the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., will be the most coveted ticket on the secondary market this season. Secondary tickets are those purchased from the primary seller, such as a stadium box office, event or team. Secondary ticket pricing may vary according to demand.
On TicketIQ, an event ticket search engine that pools tickets and data from more than 90% of the secondary market, the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl are among the five most expensive bowl games in college football this season. Watching Penn State and USC battle on Jan. 2 won't come cheap, as Rose Bowl tickets on TicketIQ are the priciest of the 40 bowl games.
As it stands, the average resale price for Rose Bowl tickets is $860. That is more than twice the average price of Peach Bowl tickets, which at $388 is the second most expensive bowl game this season.
For those who are looking just to get past the gates in Pasadena on Jan. 2, the cheapest tickets are listed starting at $471 each.
This year's Rose Bowl Game marks the first time that Penn State and USC return to the bowl game since 2009, when they coincidentally last played one another. With the Nittany Lions surging to their best season in seven years, it isn't surprising that ticket demand is through the roof both on the primary and secondary market.
Penn State has one of the loyalest groups of fans, and they have been starved in recent years for good news, as the football program suffered through a sex scandal involving its famed head coach Joe Paterno and his top assistant for years, Jerry Sandusky. In 2012, the NCAA penalized the university $60 million and banned it from the postseason, although the governing body of college sports later reversed the ban.
USC is coming off several off seasons and last year fired its coach Steve Sarkisian after a number of embarrassing, alcohol-related incidents. Sarkisian later filed suit against the university for breach of contract.
Both Penn State and USC are former national champions.
The Rose Bowl Game isn't the only non-playoff game producing big resale ticket prices. This year's Orange Bowl Game will be held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Dec. 30, with Florida State and Michigan clashing in the third priciest bowl game this season.
Orange Bowl tickets average $319, and the get-in price is $135. That makes it considerably pricier than the Fiesta Bowl Semifinal between Clemson and Ohio State, which posts a $277 average and $69 get-in price, nearly half the asking price for Orange Bowl tickets.
Other bowl games reaching big price points this season include the Outback Bowl between Florida and Iowa and the Russell Athletic Bowl between Miami and West Virginia. The Gators and Hawkeyes meet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 2, where tickets own a $177 average and $106 get-in price.
For fans headed to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., to catch the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28, tickets are averaging $157, with the cheapest listed from $59 each.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor.