Photo courtesy of the Ohio State athletic department
Ticket sales for the 2012 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl have improved for Ohio State, but don’t expect the university to exhaust its supply or make much more progress between now and game day.
OSU might not even exceed the number of tickets sold by Big Ten rival Michigan for the 2011 Gator Bowl.
Brett Scarbrough, OSU’s senior director of ticketing, confirmed to The Lantern Thursday that the university has sold 7,500 of the 12,750 tickets it was allotted for the Buckeyes’ Jan. 2 bowl game against the Florida Gators in Jacksonville, Fla. As of Dec. 14, 6,500 tickets had been sold.
The university will absorb the cost of any of the 5,250 remaining tickets, should they remain unsold. Ticket prices range from $60-$125.
Scarbrough said he’s optimistic that there will be a good atmosphere when the Buckeyes take the field at Everbank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
He isn’t optimistic many more tickets will be sold, though.
“Not really — based on what we’ve seen over the last couple of days, we’re not expecting any big jump (in ticket sales),” he said. “It’s a little disappointing.”
Scarbrough said any number of factors could be to blame for the slow ticket sales.
“It’s the first time we’re not in a Bowl Championship Series bowl (since the 2004 season),” he said. “The economy could be a part of it. The fact that classes (at OSU) start the next day.”
Michigan played Mississippi State in the 2011 Gator Bowl before a sellout crowd of 77,497. The Wolverines lost to the Bulldogs, 54-14. David Ablauf, Michigan’s associate athletic director, said that while he did not have a precise figure for ticket sales for the 2011 bowl game, he believes Wolverines fans purchased more tickets than members of Buckeye Nation have to this point.
“We think the number was 8,000 tickets sold,” Ablauf said.
Scarbrough said OSU football would not lack support when the 2012 installment of the Gator Bowl finally arrives on Jan. 2.
“We sold through a good, fair amount of tickets,” he said. “We’ll have a lot of Buckeyes there to support the team.”
The Buckeyes and Gators will kickoff at 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Tickets for the game can be purchased at ohiostatebuckeyes.com