Virginia Tech is having trouble selling its ticket allotment for the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Athletic Director Jim Weaver said Tuesday in an interview that ticket sales for the Hokies’ game with Rutgers in Orlando on Dec. 28 had been “fairly slow” and he got more specific during his weekly appearance on the athletic department radio show, Tech Talk Live.
Weaver told host Bill Roth that Virginia Tech had sold less than 3,000 of its 13,500 ticket allotment thus far. It appears the combination of the Hokies’ worst season on the field in 20 years and an expensive holiday destination has convinced many fans to save their money with Virginia Tech in its 20th-straight bowl game.
It doesn’t help that tickets are going for as little as $4 on secondary market websites like StubHub. Virginia Tech’s ticket office is forced to sell tickets that have a face value of $72.
Bowl ticket sales have been a point of contention for Virginia Tech of late, although this year’s struggles make more sense given the lack of a marquee bowl game or opponent. In 2008, the Hokies sold just 3,300 tickets when they beat Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl and lost approximately $1.77 million. In 2011, when Virginia Tech faced Stanford in the Orange Bowl, it sold just more than 6,500 tickets from its 17,500 allotment.
Last season, when the Hokies were a surprise choice to the Sugar Bowl largely because of the reputation their fan base has built from traveling to bowl games, Virginia Tech sold 9,877 tickets from its 17,500 allotment.
ACC schools are required to foot the bill for the first 6,000 tickets in their bowl allotment and are partially responsible for the next 2,000. Beyond those 8,000, the conference covers the cost of all unsold tickets.