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The Hottest Tickets For The 2021 College Football Season

Georgia vs. Clemson is this year’s most in-demand ticket

Georgia Clemson football game in 2014
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

After an unprecedented 2020 college football season punctuated by empty seats and cardboard cutouts, data from StubHub shows fans are ready to get back in stadiums to cheer on their favorite teams.

StubHub says ticket sales thus far are on par with 2019, with the “Duke’s Mayo Classic” in Charlotte between Georgia and Clemson taking the spot as the most in-demand game of the season, based on sales through August 4.

2021 Top 10 In-Demand College Football Games

  1. Duke’s Mayo Classic: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Clemson Tigers on September 4
  2. Auburn Tigers at Penn State Nittany Lions on September 18 
  3. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs Miami Hurricanes on September 4
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas A&M Aggies on October 9 
  5. LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide on November 6
  6. Washington Huskies at Michigan Wolverines on September 11
  7. Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators on September 18
  8. Ole Miss Rebels at Alabama Crimson Tide on October 2
  9. Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide on October 23 
  10. Nebraska Cornhuskers at Oklahoma Sooners on September 18

The Alabama Crimson Tide plays in six of the top ten most in-demand games.

“It might not come as a surprise that Alabama is on top of a college football list, but this is the first time they’ve led ticket sales in 10 years,” said Khanna. “Penn State and Michigan, whose football programs boast the two largest capacity football stadiums in the country, follow the Tide at No. 2 and No. 3.”

StubHub’s 2021 Top 10 In-Demand College Football Teams

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions
  3. Michigan Wolverines
  4. Texas A&M Aggies
  5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  6. Wisconsin Badgers
  7. Auburn Tigers
  8. Georgia Bulldogs
  9. Florida Gators
  10. Oklahoma Sooners

“Based on the demand we’ve seen for college football tickets, people are ready to watch their favorite teams play on Saturdays,” said Akshay Khanna, general manager of StubHub North America. “Currently, ticket sales to-date on StubHub for 2021 college football games are on par with sales for 2019 ahead of the season, and we expect this trend to continue if not exceed 2019 given pent-up demand for experiencing a game in-person.”

Week 1 demand is being drive by two of the neutral site games being played in Charlotte and Atlanta.

2021 Top 10 College Football Season Week 1 Games

  1. Duke’s Mayo Classic: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Clemson Tigers on September 4 
  2. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Alabama vs Miami on September 4
  3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Florida State Seminoles on September 5
  4. LSU Tigers at UCLA Bruins Football on September 4
  5. Penn State Nittany Lions at Wisconsin Badgers on September 4
  6. Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan Wolverines on September 4
  7. Kent State Golden Flashes at Texas A&M Aggies on September 4
  8. Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 2
  9. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Texas Longhorns on September 4
  10. North Carolina Tar Heels at Virginia Tech Hokies on September 3

Looking at teams that have seen demand jump since 2019, the Arkansas Razorbacks lead the pack, thanks in no small part to their matchup against Texas.

2021 Top 10 Biggest Climbers

  1. Arkansas Razorbacks: 446%
  2. Arizona Wildcats: 410%
  3. Minnesota Golden Gophers: 160%
  4. Virginia Tech Hokies: 132%
  5. Baylor Bears: 116%
  6. Oklahoma Sooners: 94%
  7. UCLA Bruins: 83%
  8. TCU Horned Frogs: 75%
  9. Illinois Fighting Illini: 68%
  10. Auburn Tigers: 67%

“What we find promising is that sales for college football tickets, as well as tickets for the NFL, have been tracking with pre-pandemic sales in 2019, signaling that people are ready to return to live sports,” said Khanna. “We expect other sports to follow this trend.”

Week Zero begins this weekend, with five games scheduled to be played in the Football Bowl Division:

  • Nebraska at Illinois | 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • UConn at Fresno State | 2 p.m. | CBSSN
  • Hawai’i at UCLA | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
  • UTEP at New Mexico State | 9:30 p.m. | Bally Sports/KVIA/FloFootball
  • Southern Utah at San Jose State | 10 p.m. | CBSSN

Week 1 officially begins in the FBS on Wednesday, September 1 with UAB vs. Jacksonville State and continues through Labor Day weekend.

Author

  • Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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