Saturday, January 9, 2016

With Expensive Travel Options, 2016 National Championship Tickets Are Cheapest Ever On Resale Market

BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 17: College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy presented by Dr Pepper is seen at Tiger Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The end zones are being painted and workouts are underway at University of Phoenix Stadium, but for the thousands of Alabama and Clemson fans traveling to Monday’s National Championship game, taking to the air may be burning a major hole in the wallet.

Fear not, out-of-towners. Traveling costs are directly affecting the secondary ticket market, and Monday’s game is now the cheapest championship game on average in the last six years. The get-in price, or cheapest available ticket, is the second lowest for a title game since at least 2010. Should the lofty costs of traveling continue to increase, this year’s championship game could become the cheapest ever by a wide margin.

According to, the cheapest roundtrip flight from Birmingham to Phoenix, departing on January 10 and returning January 12, is now $1,730.20 via American Airlines. That is 8.3% more expensive than Thursday’s cheapest flight, which was priced at $1,598 through United Airlines. From New Orleans, American, United and Delta are offering roundtrip flights from $805.20-$1,975.70.

Roundtrip airfare from South Carolina won’t be much cheaper. If flying out of Greenville Spartanburg International Airport the cheapest flight to Phoenix is now listed for $1,505.20. Last year, the airfare from Columbus, Ohio to Dallas ranged from $492-559 while a roundtrip flight out of Oregon was around $1,000.

Ticket aggregator TiqIQ currently lists the average price for 2016 College Football Championship Game tickets at $674.81, marking a 52.2% drop from the $1,410.35 average on New Year’s Eve. It is now 42% cheaper on average than the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game last year, which averaged a $1,124.44 ticket. Since 2010, when TiqIQ began collecting secondary market data, only 2014’s game between Auburn and Florida State at the Rose Bowl owned a lower average price of $479.27 the day prior to kickoff. It is certainly possible that this year’s game could drop below that price, as the average has more than halved over the last week-and-a-half.

If looking just to get past the gates at University of Phoenix Stadium on Monday the cheapest ticket is now $202, down 65.9% from the New Year’s Eve price of $587. That makes this year’s game the second least expensive to get into since the turn of the decade, but not by much. The record low came in 2014 at $198.

For those enticed by the low ticket prices, many deals still exist on hotels in Glendale on Priceline. Three-star hotels begin from just $55 per night while lower-rated hotels start from just $44 per night. If searching for a four-star rating or higher, hotels can be found from $189 per night.


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