There’s pressure. Pressure for Johnny Manziel to act as a professional even though he is an amateur. Pressure to bring College Station a second Heisman trophy in as many years. Pressure for the Aggies Football program to stay atop the SEC standings and win a National Championship. ESPN is right – no college star has ever been as famous or as scrutinized due to social media as Manziel. Okay, maybe Manti Te’o took that award. But, it is certain that the world is tracking his every move on twitter – Aggie fans and the nation are intrigued by the first freshman to ever win a Heisman Trophy.
Although social media is relatively new to the universe – one thing has not changed over the years. College football fans expect greatness, especially following a successful season. They want to do what Alabama did and win three National titles in four years. They want to see revenue flow in from television contracts and bowl games. They expect to a top 5 team.
So how does a hero like Manziel affect a College Football program? First comes a rise in interest, then excitement follows. And then, Universities capitalize on the increase in demand with heightened ticket prices. According to The Dallas Morning News, Texas A&M increased football ticket prices by $25 each following their Cotton Bowl win. An increase in demand for Aggies football tickets is evident on the secondary market; the average Texas A&M Football tickets are up 16% in price since 2012. Last year at this time, the Aggies had the ninth most expensive College Football tickets in the nation, averaging $186. This season, you’ll pay an average of $215 to be the 12th man at Kyle Field. Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies boast the eighth most expensive home ticket in College Football. In regards to the SEC teams, only LSU, Alabama, and Georgia have a more expensive ticket. The average SEC Football tickets in 2013 is $151, higher than any other Conference and twenty-seven percent more than the average College Football ticket.
In regards to Texas A&M football single game tickets, the matchup between the reigning National Champs, Alabama Crimson Tide is the most expensive game at Kyle Field this season. The highly sought-after tickets are averaging $623, the fourth most expensive NCAA Football game in 2013 and the most expensive conference game. No surprise after the Aggies handed the Crimson Tide their only loss last season in front of their home crowd.
The win against Alabama last year was a turning point. The Aggies dominated their remaining two games on their schedule and then blew away #11 Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl. Demand was skyrocketing with Johnny Manziel’s Heisman nomination. Google searches for ‘Cotton Bowl tickets’ relative to ‘BCS Championship tickets’ were almost double following Sunday’s BCS Selection Show. If consumer interest was the only factor in the equation, the Cotton Bowl was the biggest game of the season. At that time Cotton Bowl tickets were averaging $493, the second most expensive College Bowl Game after the BCS National Championship. Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Sooners tickets for the Cotton Bowl were 17% more expensive than Rose Bowl tickets and almost 2.5-times more than the Sugar Bowl.
Aside from following Johnny Football’s every post on twitter, how is the rest of the nation responding to the success in College Station? Texas A&M Aggies football tickets on the road are averaging $198, just missing the top 10 most expensive road teams in College Football at number 11.
As the ESPN article notes, Johnny Manziel had yet to win the job as starting quarterback at this time last year. As he slowly moved into the spotlight, made headlines, led his team to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl Championship and then, captured America’s attention with “one of the best Heisman acceptance speeches in history” – expectations for the 2013 season grew and so too did Aggies ticket prices.
Image Credits: Patric Schneider and Dave McDermand (AP Photo)