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Another Portland Blog

Monday, November 05, 2007

 

How much is too much for college football?

$450

That's the price I watched two Ducks fans pay to get into Saturday's game.

$450.

For a regular season, college football game. That's a mark-up somewhere in the 500% range.

Two colleagues and I hit the footbridge in front of Autzen Stadium with an hour to go before kick-off. The scalpers were out in throngs but unwilling to let even the worst seat in the place go for less than $130. We headed off to a nearby Dutch Brothers, figuring that if we returned right as the game was starting they'd be more desperate and willing to let three tickets go for a lot less.




Hey, it was a plan that made sense at the time.

And we were completely and utterly wrong, of course. This was a major match-up between two of the nation's top tier teams. Ten minutes after kick-off we got down to some serious haggling with a scalper. He had three tickets thirty rows up from the field and was eager to be rid of them. We tried to talk him down to $80 a head but he wouldn't go a penny below $100. We passed. Within seconds, another fan wandered up and snagged all three for $350.

So instead of sitting inside the stadium we wandered the parking lot through throngs of RVs and lingering tailgaters. Someone in a Mr. Hankey costume was patrolling the grounds. We passed other fans content to sit next to their Winnebagos and watch the game on portable TVs.

We eventually ventured over to the Cooler, a barn-shaped bar near the stadium with a wall-to-wall TV but it had fans packed to the rafters. How a college football game, even a big, important one, can attract 58,000 people to lil' Eugene, OR. and untold numbers of others to local bars and stadium parking lots is beyond me. Then again, I'm only a casual fan.

So we settled for nachos and artichoke dip at a local McMenamins and watched the second half basically for free on a 22-inch screen. We saved ourselves $300 and saw the game anyway, which you've got to admit got pretty damn dull during the fourth quarter.




And I look forward to doing it all over again for the Civil War game. Maybe.

GO DUCKS!

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