Bad economy. Lackluster matchups. Less than desirable locales.
Whatever the cause, there were a lot of empty seats at this year’s bowl games involving Big Ten teams – as even teams that traditionally travel well were unable to move their tickets.
From the Ohio State student newspaper The Lantern:
The Ohio State football team sold only 7,500 tickets of the 12,750 it was allotted for the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, in Jacksonville, Fla., but the Buckeyes weren’t the only Big Ten team that failed to sell its bowl-game ticket allotment.
The Big Ten conference sent 10 football teams to the postseason in 2011-12 — more than any Football Bowl Subdivision conference in the country. However, the on-field achievements of the respective teams during the regular season weren’t necessarily backed by each schools’ supporters as only Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin sold out their ticket allotments for their respective bowls.
Nice job by The Lantern, which found that the schools were allotted and sold the following number of tickets:
- Purdue: Sold 5,425; allotted 5,000 =109 percent of available seats
- Wisconsin: 24,848/24,848 = 100 percent
- Northwestern: 12,000/12,000 = 100 percent
- Michigan: 15,000/17,500 = 85.7 percent
- Penn State: 4,200/6,000 = 70 percent
- Nebraska: 8,100/12,500 = 64.8 percent
- Iowa: 7,000/11,000 = 63.6 percent
- Ohio State: 7,500/12,750 = 58.8 percent
- Michigan State: 6,500/11,500 = 56.5 percent
- Illinois: 8,000/2,600 = 32.5 percent
All told, the Big Ten sold 93,173 of its 121,098 allotted seats – or 76.9 percent.