The 4 Main Reasons College Football Games Are So Expensive

College football is ingrained in American history and culture, but the price to attend a game can be cringingly expensive at times.

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Why Are College Football Games So Expensive?

College football games are so expensive because of team rankings, high-profile games, less sponsorship support, and high demand for tickets. You can expect to pay roughly $175 to attend an NCAA college football game, with playoff tickets costing $3,000 per ticket on average.

After extensively researching college football prices, I have gathered enough information to determine why tickets can be so expensive. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different factors that influence the price of college football games.

How Much Do College Football Games Cost?

Attending a college football game is a right of passage for students, and many fanatics continue to support their school team long after they graduate. 

With that said, many fans are often shocked by the price associated with college football games. On average, you should expect to pay around $175 for an NCAA college football game ticket. 

Given that college football games are not on in the same league as the NFL, the ticket prices can seem exceedingly high to a lot of attendees. However, it’s important to understand that the cost to go to a college football game can greatly vary depending on the seats that you choose and the game you attend. 

Some of the cheapest seats for a college football game can be as low as $30, whereas a high-profile game with the best seats in the stadium can easily cost you upwards of $7,000. 

Opting for a VIP package and an in-game suite will raise this estimated figure considerably.

Which College Football Games Cost the Most?

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You should expect any high-profile college football game to cost a lot, but prices are hands down the highest during the playoffs. 

Tickets for the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship are available for an average price of $3,000 for good seats, and $900 for lower-tier seats.

Are College Football Games More Expensive than NFL?

High-profile games in both NCAA and NFL will cost hundreds of dollars (or more), but the NFL is still more expensive. While an average college football game costs $175, attending an NFL game often costs around $190.

You need to keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that influence the ticket prices of both college football and NFL games.

It’s important to assess each game individually, as the prices can greatly fluctuate case by case.

Why Are College Football Games So Expensive?

If you are frustrated with the staggeringly high price of college football games, you are not alone. 

Fans are finding it hard to cope with the cost of tickets, and are looking for answers. These are the primary reasons why college football games are so expensive. 

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Team Rankings

Some college football games can cost as little as $30, whereas many games average $175. 

One of the biggest factors that influence this fluctuation is the ranking of the team that’s playing. Ultimately, a high-ranking team is going to result in very expensive ticket prices.

Ticket sellers understand that fans are willing to pay more to support teams with a solid reputation and ranking in the league, so they upsell on principle.

High-Profile Games

High-profile games are always going to cost a lot more, regardless of which team is playing. 

If there is hype and excitement about a particular game, whether it’s an elite team, a rival team, or a playoff game, this will affect how expensive ticket prices are.

Less Sponsor Support

Unlike the NFL, college football does not receive nearly as much sponsorship to support the teams and organizers. This results in less money coming in to make the game happen, which forces the organizers and sellers to increase the cost of tickets. 

College football teams often heavily rely on the support of their fans to attend games to reach their season budget.

High Demand

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The bottom line is that demand drives the price of every college football game. If there are a limited number of seats available, you can expect the price of tickets to go up significantly.

This is often influenced by high-profile games, but you can also encounter high-demand college football tickets due to a lack of availability because of students. Students generally get priority seating at a discounted price, which results in fewer tickets being available for regular fans.

How to Save Money on College Football Games

College football games are expensive. There’s no doubt about it. While this can be discouraging for a lot of dedicated fans who want to support their favorite teams, you need to keep in mind that the price to attend a college football game can greatly vary.

You can save yourself a lot of money on the games you attend by buying tickets at the right time. Keep the following methods in to save money on college football games.

Season Tickets 

Buying in bulk generally equates to a more reasonable price tag, and that is often the case with college football tickets. 

Sellers want to get rid of their tickets as quickly and efficiently as possible, which is why they usually offer discounted prices when you buy season tickets.

Attendees can save themselves hundreds and even thousands of dollars by buying season tickets instead of individual tickets.

Gameday Tickets

Waiting until gameday can be painful for a lot of fans, but this is actually one of the best ways to get a good deal on college football tickets. 

Provided that the game does not sell out and is not in high demand, you can save yourself a fortune by buying tickets on gameday instead of early on. 

Sellers will lower the price on gameday to get rid of as many tickets as possible while they still have a chance to make money.

Key Takeaways

  • College football games are expensive because of team rankings, high-profile games, less sponsor support, and high demand for tickets. 
  • On average, you can expect to pay roughly $175 to attend an NCAA college football game, with $3,000 being the average for playoff games.
  • You can save money on college football tickets by buying season tickets and gameday tickets.

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  1. Nearly 40% extra fees on top of the total ticket price is too much for me. Wanted to see the USC opening game but bailed out due to the extra fees!
    So two more empty seats at the USC game!!! I am certain that I would have been hosed on parking the car as well + $6 bucks for a small hot dog.
    Shit – I’ll just stay home, grab a brew and turn on the tube… best part is I’ll save a bundle and not have to drive home for an hour+ after a 5:30PM start!!!!!!!

    1. I agree. It’s not possible to buy from the venue anymore, you have to buy from ticketmaster or stubhub, who add insane fees. I’m passing on the orange bowl this year in protest (that and in protest that FSU was left out of the playoff).