Michigan Ohio State: A Case Study in Ticket Scalping


The book of Revelation describes the end of days where good will battle evil once and for all. A glimpse of this fight will take place on November 26, 2016 when the hopefully undefeated Wolverines will take on a hopefully undefeated Buckeyes team in Columbus, Ohio.

I have never been to a Umich OSU game in Ohio because 1) The Horseshoe is a scary place. 2) Michigan has been awful for the last fifteen years. Experiments with an oaf named Hoke and a snake oil peddling, spread option, no defense playing fool in Rodriguez has destroyed a century of football excellence. Of course, this all started with Lloyd Carr who hung on to the job for too long, lost to Appalachian State, and played a role in not allowing Les Miles to come to Ann Arbor.

With Harbuagh at the reins and a defense almost as good as the ’97 championship team, I am finally ready to brave the nutty Columbus crowd and go to the game. Step 1 was to find a points hotel that was affordable. Check. Step 2 was to find a free points flight to Michigan for Thanksgiving. While that was possible, I accepted the generosity of my parents and their GoFundTPOL efforts. Step 3 was to find tickets. This is the worst part of the process.

There are five options when it comes to buying tickets for big games:

  1. The Box Office: Not an option when the game is sold out.
  2. Ticket Scalping on Game Day: For those that do not care if they go to the game or not, this can be the cheapest way to score great tickets. (see Ticket Scalping NYC: Know Before You Go)
  3. The Hookup on Tickets: There’s always that guy or family member who knows someone who knows someone.
  4. SeatGeek: This is a great app for searching for tickets from a variety of vendors.
  5. StubHub: This is the most known reseller of tickets.

With option #1, 2, and 3 unavailable, I began perusing the ticket offerings from SeatGeek and StubHub last week while Ohio State was struggling against Wisconsin. During the game, I was hoping that OSU would lose so the ticket prices would drop. I speculated that a win would cause the prices to go up. Ohio State held on and the prices remained basically the same.

Besides MSU, Michigan does not have any tough opponents left on their schedule. OSU faces a tougher road since they have to play both MSU and Nebraska. Still, I expect that both should be undefeated before the big game. As a result, I do not expect that the prices will go any lower than they are today. Indeed, they could rise exponentially if a spot in the Big Ten Championship game and playoffs is on the line. That is why I decided to pull the trigger by purchasing two upper bowl tickets in row 5 for $695. The face value was $195 so the mark up is not that extraordinary.

As the weeks go by, I will pay close attention to StubHub and SeatGeek to see if I made the right choice. In the mean time, duck the fuckeyes and Go Blue!

TPOL and his offensive line(s)
TPOL and his offensive line(s)

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  1. I’ve been to the horseshoe. Great stadium. Also been to Ann Arbor stadium. More gentile. I was born at OSU Hospital oh so many years ago so I am literally a Buckeye from birth. I hope you enjoy the game despite your loss. Take care.

  2. Used to flip a lot of OSU tickets back in the day (OSU grad here). Just a heads up, a lot of people make the mistake of buying student tickets because they appear to be the cheapest. OSU students can “upgrade” them to be general tickets, however, you are still surrounded by drunk college kids. Don’t buy anything in the South Stands just to be safe.

    Love that the rivalry seems to be back! Go Bucks!

  3. I would not watch the prices any more. You are committed now, why kick yourself if they drop (for some reason)? I use Stubhub for NFL tickets, and once purchased I don’t go back.

  4. I’ve never bought a college football ticket in my life. Yet I’ve attended the last 4 OSU – UM games. Gotta love family that has season tickets. I have family that is OSU and Michigan alumni.

    This year I’m going to be sitting on a Beach in Florida that weekend.

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