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Akron game might not be a sellout

September 2, 2011
dsp By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz (sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

Ohio Stadium holds more than 105,000 people.

Tickets are still of the premium seemingly every week as people shoehorn into the Horseshoe for the spectacle known as Buckeyes' football.

However, when Ohio State opens its 2011 season Saturday against Akron, some ticket brokers do not believe it will be a sell out.

Unlike most games of most seasons, this week's game still has tickets available through Ticketmaster, which means barring a late rush, tickets could be available at the Ohio Stadium ticket window Saturday morning.

"I really think you'll be able to walk up and get one," said 1991 St. John Central graduate Ryan Forgacs, who is now the president of Main Event Ticket Service, which is based in Columbus. "The home opener is usually a solid ticket, but I don't believe this will sell out. It will still look full when you're in the stadium, but there will probably be unsold tickets."

Numerous factors have played into the equation for this week's game.

Obviously, the economy is taking its toll.

However, the bigger reason could be the tumultous offseason the Buckeyes' endured after five Ohio State players, including Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, were implicated for selling memorabilia for tattoos.

The scandal exploded and eventually led to the resignation, which later became a retirement, of Jim Tressel as head coach.

"I think the bad publicity definitely took a toll," Forgacs said. "Tickets are like the stock market though. They go up and down and sometimes you never know."

An additional factor is the opponent. Akron is coming off a 1-11 season and Ohio State is favored by more than 30 points.

According to Forgacs, opponents like the Zips, Ohio University, Youngstown State and even Toledo are never a huge drawing card.

"People definitely look at the opponent," Forgacs said. "Tickets never go for a big dollar to see those kinds of teams. People want to see the Big 10 opponents."

Though the Rockets will be another heavy underdog when they come to Ohio State next weekend, Forgacs indicates ticket sales have been steady.

"I think next week will be a little better," Forgacs indicated. "Toledo is coming off a bowl game and expected to have a decent team again this year."

Forgacs doesn't believe this game's slow sales is an indication of the entire season though the Buckeyes' most attractive home games are Michigan State and Wisconsin. Last year, the slate featured Miami and Michigan at home.

"I'm not concerned more this year than any other," Forgacs said. "I think once (OSU) wins a few games and gets off to a (good) start, it will get back to normal."

The face value on a ticket on the first level is $70, but they're going as low as $58 on the website StubHub as of Thursday morning and Forgacs thinks they'll be cheaper than that on Lane Avenue, near the stadium.

"We're selling some tickets, but nothing crazy," Forgacs said. "We definitely didn't have to sell tickets discounted last year, but they're going to be going below face value Saturday."

GOING TO THE GAME?

If you're going to be in Ohio Stadium Saturday, you can let others know where you're sitting if you're on Facebook. Ticketmaster has a new feature where you can check in through Facebook to a particular seat, meaning others in the stadium can easily find (or not find) you in the crowd. The feature also allows you to mark your seat ahead of the event, allowing other friends, who might be interested in purchasing tickets, to know where you're sitting.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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