You could’ve bought a cup of coffee or a ticket to TCU football’s season opener on Friday morning.
Or both if you had a $5 bill.
A handful of upper deck tickets to TCU’s Aug. 30 home game against Samford are listed on VividSeats for $2 apiece.
Of course, that comes with a $15 shipping fee and $1.40 service fee, but the low figure is one example of what fans can find in the fluctuating, demand-driven secondary ticket market, where one seat at one game can go for a couple bucks and another seat at the next can go for a couple thousand.
The secondary market works like this: Tickets are bought from a primary vendor — say, a season ticket package purchased through TCU — and then resold on sites such as StubHub, Ticket City and Vivid Seats.
Usually, the bigger the game, the more expensive the ticket on the secondary market becomes. And if the game isn’t as big — such as TCU’s opener against Samford — fans can save money through a secondary market rather than paying full price for a face value ticket.
Here’s a glance at the secondary ticket markets for each Big 12 school in Texas, along with the SEC’s Texas A&M:
At today’s prices, you should be able to catch the Horned Frogs’ first three games for less than $60. For the Samford game, there’s the $2 option on Vivid Seats. A better minimum deal might be the pair of $5.25 tickets listed on StubHub. Those are in the second deck behind the north end zone and include an electronic download. Minimum prices for the Minnesota game range from $21 to $30.33 on the three sites. Minimums for TCU’s Sept. 27 trip to SMU drop slightly to the $15 to $20 range. Not surprisingly, prices rise sharply for the Frogs’ Big 12 schedule. Tickets for the Oklahoma game on Oct. 4 start at $84 on Stubhub and range to around $2,000.
Vivid Seats ranks the Longhorns as having the 12th-most expensive median ticket price for home games, checking in at $120. Texas’ average, per Vivid Seats, is $188. Those pricy figures are also reflected on StubHub and Ticket City, where prices for the Longhorns’ home opener against North Texas start at $60.75 and $44. Texas’ most expensive minimum ticket — to no surprise — is its Red River Showdown against Oklahoma on Oct. 11. StubHub starts at $233.40, Vivid Seats at $167 ($202.43 after fees) and Ticket City at $172 ($215 after fees). The Texas-OU game is the fifth-most expensive ticket on Vivid Seats, with a median price of $395.
The Aggies edged Texas in Vivid Seats’ rankings with a median ticket price of $127, good for 10th in the country. StubHub’s most expensive starting price for an A&M home game is $193.99, for the Aggies’ Thanksgiving matchup with LSU. Parking passes for that game are starting at around $100 on StubHub. In line with other comparisons, Vivid Seats has starting prices for the LSU game a bit lower than StubHub, beginning at $134 for an upper deck ticket, but totals $181.63 after fees and shipping. The rest of A&M’s home games have starting prices ranging from $27 to $99 across the three sites.
The Bears’ debut of McLane Stadium is Aug. 31 against SMU, and the starting prices for that game are the highest so far on Baylor’s home schedule. They range from $109 to $155.01 across the three sites. Another observation: Starting prices for the Kansas game are slightly higher than the TCU game. That will most likely change if the Bears and Frogs enter their Oct. 11 matchup largely unscathed.
Two games stand out on Texas Tech’s home schedule: Texas (Nov. 1) and Oklahoma (Nov. 15). And the starting ticket prices for those games have reflected that accordingly. The Texas game is the priciest, with starting prices ranging from $80 on Vivid Seats to $110 on StubHub. Minimum prices for the Oklahoma game range from $52 on Ticket City to $70.11 on StubHub.