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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Looking at Big Ten bowl ticket sales

By Brian Bennett

Selling bowl tickets can sometimes be very difficult for teams.

The bowls force schools to pay for a large allotment of tickets at premium prices, even though fans are savvy enough to use the secondary market to buy cheaper tickets for often better seats. The games themselves are often at far-flung locations, and if a team didn't finish strongly down the stretch, fans might not be enthused about the potential expense for the trip.

With that in mind, we're taking a look at how bowl ticket sales are going for the Big Ten teams in the postseason. Keep in mind that these are the official totals and do not include those fans who bought their tickets from StubHub, directly through the game itself or from scalpers or other sources.

Minnesota: The Gophers have sold a little more than 2,000 tickets to the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, according to school officials. Minnesota is on the hook for 12,000 tickets.

Purdue: The Boilers have moved about 2,500 of their 6,000-ticket allotment to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. School officials think the school's large alumni base in the area -- more than 12,0000 alums in the Dallas radius -- could mean a big Boilers crowd at the game.

Michigan State: The Spartans put out a news release earlier this week saying they had sold only about 2,000 of their 11,000-ticket allotment to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game against TCU. In the release, athletic director Mark Hollis urged Michigan State fans to buy tickets in order to maintain the school's reputation as a team that travels well to bowls.

Michigan: The Wolverines have sold more than 9,000 tickets and are nearing 10,000 for their trip to the Outback Bowl against South Carolina, school officials said Wednesday. The allotment was around 12,000.

Northwestern: For the second straight year, Northwestern was the only Big Ten team that refused to give out any information about its bowl ticket sales. All a school spokesman would divulge is that the Wildcats' bowl ticket sales are up 47 percent from this time a year ago, but since last year's figures weren't released either, we're not sure what that means. Northwestern got a 15,000-ticket allotment to the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl and reportedly sold out their allotment for last year's Meineke Car Care of Texas game.

Nebraska: According to reports, the Huskers had sold fewer than 4,000 of their 12,500 tickets to the Capital One Bowl game against Georgia. A lousy Big Ten title game performance and a repeat trip to Orlando are likely to blame for the slow sales. By contrast, Georgia has reportedly sold more than 10,000 tickets to the game.

Wisconsin: The Badgers report that they've sold about 15,000 tickets so far for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, out of an allotment of 24,000. Ticket sales spiked when Barry Alvarez announced he'd return to coach the game. But this is also the third straight year that Wisconsin has gone to Pasadena, and the team was just 8-5 this season.