An Examination of Secondary Ticket Market Pricing Trends and Determinants at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Level

Stephen L. Shapiro – University of South Carolina
Austin Schulte – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Nels Popp – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Brad Bates – University North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Several factors influence the price college athletics administrators set for football tickets, but nearly all pricing decisions are established prior to the season commencing. The secondary ticket market allows college athletics administrators to observe real-time consumer valuation for tickets. The purpose of the current study was two-fold: (a) to examine how secondary ticket market prices fluctuate at different time periods leading up to game day and (b) to examine the relationship between several key demand variables and “Get In” price (GIP) during those different time periods. To conduct this study, individual game GIPs were collected from StubHub for all Power 5 home contests (N = 434) for the 2019 football season at four different time periods; (a) pre-season, (b) two weeks before game day, (c) one week before game day, and (d) the day before game day. Four categories of explanatory variables–(a) time/environmental factors, (b) game-related factors, (c) performance factors, and (d) home market factors–were also collected. Four regression models were conducted, predicting between 38.9% and 70.5% of the variance in GIP at each point in time. As game day grew closer, overall GIP diminished in a linear fashion at each data collection. Several explanatory variables were significant in each model and are interpreted in the discussion.