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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pssssst! Wanna Buy Some Notre Dame Football Tickets?

Thanks to the internet, the buying and selling of Notre Dame Football tickets has become quite a lucrative business. Sure, the same game-day transaction rituals are still quite plentiful in South Bend and on campus.

Get off the Indiana Toll Road at the Notre Dame exit and standing on the shoulders are the inevitable ticket scalpers. Walking on campus to the Book Store you can observe individuals holding fingers up signaling how many tickets they have for sale. Others walk around with cardboard signs reading, “Needs Tickets.” Every college campus has the same time-honored system of obtaining tickets.

The ND administration enforces a no-scalping policy on campus with limited results. Basically, you can resell tickets at face value only. Many people are unaware that it’s always a good idea to try the ticket office when it first opens on game-day, they usually have single tickets and even some seating in pairs.

When eBay entered the scene, like everything else but the kitchen sink, tickets quickly went on sale there. Buyers of course wanted to know the section, row, and seat. Who wants to bid a couple hundred bucks for a nose-bleed seat in the North end zone?  It didn’t take the ND administration long to start matching seats with season ticket holders names on record and revoking buying privileges of the holders. Now it’s section and row advertised only.

A number of years ago, gee it may go back to when the stadium was renovated, I’m dating myself. The athletic department finally purged the season ticket holder list of those long dead and buried individuals going back to Rockne. There were many cases where the family continued to buy the tickets and distribute or sell them accordingly. A number of changes were made to whom among the staff, facility, employees at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s could buy tickets, either season or individual.

All this was done to increase the availability of the alumni ticket pool as the number of lottery ticket requests skyrocketed over the years with more and more graduates being added to the pool year after year. I’ve even heard band alumni have a separate lottery and are guaranteed at least one set of home game tickets. same goes for former cheerleaders, monogram club members and former Irish Guard. Of course, football team members, trainers and coaches get extra tickets as well. The Mayor of South Bend even gets 10-12 tickets. It doesn’t take long to go through 80,000+ seats.  Got additional questions?  Here's the Notre Dame Official FAQ.

A random check of eBay (on 7/6) came up with 10 hits for individuals selling 22, 2010 Notre Dame Football season tickets. Bids were generally starting at $1,999.99 for one set of two tickets. There were 519 hits for individual 2010 games, anywhere from one to at least eight tickets per game. The 519 number is somewhat misleading as it included old ND ticket stubs in a number of cases and I couldn’t figure out how to cull them out of the result total.  Still it was a lot of tickets and kickoff is two months away.

A Google search came up with at least 20 websites selling Notre Dame tickets, after that I quit counting. Of course most of these sites sell other sports, teams and different events as well. It’s obviously a big business. I had no earthly idea.  My intention was to count up the 20 site offerings to get a ticket total, but it would have been more trouble than it would be worth just to get a number that changes daily as tickets are sold and others added.  Trust me, it's a bunch.

Of course this year the premo thing is a pair of tickets to the ND vs. UM game AND a parking pass.  Who wants to ride a crowded shuttle to and from the White Lot?  Parking passes are gold dust.

Some of the sites are more elaborate and user friendly than the Notre Dame Ticket Office site.

TicketCity is a good example and so is Ticket Liquidator(Note: SAS has no association with these or any individuals or websites selling Notre Dame tickets)

One, "Onlineseats" needs to clean up it’s site, it still lists Charlie Weis as head coach.

This business about us non-alumni becoming a Sorin contributor for $1,500 (see FAQ) and pretty much being guaranteed the right to buy a pair of individual game tickets seems to be true. In past Blue Gray Sky ND ticket survey results showed, it seemed to work. I read the same thing on other ND sites like NDNation's bulletin board.  However, why plop down $1,500 clams for two tickets to ND vs. Utah or WMU? Plus you still have to pay for the tickets!?  You know you are not going to get the Skunkbears or the likes of U$C. Why not spend less on-line and get those U of M tickets instead?  They are out there.  Both my sons got pairs of tickets that way and one is a ND graduate who has had crappy luck in the alumni lottery over the years.

Couple other closing comments…….

It appears to be a good idea to price-shop around. The better seats cost more but you still may end up with something different that you thought or paid for. I would try my luck with a site rather than an individual on eBay. Also, what’s that old saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is". 

I've sat in the nose-bleed sections, the wooden bleachers on the field in the South end zone and even in the box seats (ND vs. U$C, thank you very much).  They are all good seats, especially when we win.

If the good fathers at Notre Dame are interested and serious about cleaning up the scalpers and making the Notre Dame visit a family and more memorable affair, here is something else they can do. Spend a little money. Most sites selling Notre Dame season tickets sell them individually by game as well. Buy the cheapest game ticket in the season ticket offering (Normally Navy). Then inform the season ticket holder, they have been dropped from the list. Randomly do the same with some of the individual tickets for sale on eBay. See if that doesn't put a dent in those trying to make a buck. Maybe every five years make half the season ticket holders reapply and have to go into a special lottery to buy season tickets.  The hassle and the sky-rocketing cost will help cull the list.

I’ve always thought that half the reason Notre Dame Stadium is so quiet compared to riotous places like Knoxville and the Big House is because too many casual ND fans get there hands on tickets to attend one game and do it just for the lifetime experience.  All the polite clapping you hear in the stands when Notre Dame makes a first down or Michael Floyd makes a nice catch, well those are the folks.

Anyone have other thoughts?

BTW, is anybody out there reading any of these posts?


Lisae said...

There is no such thing as a band or Irish guard lottery. Former band members can buy tickets to participate in the periodic alumni band reunions and sit on the field in the end zone for those.

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