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I'm a sucker for bargains. It's really an addiction. I can't drive past a yard sale without scouring through someone else's junk for a deal and I'm a regular costumer at the 99¢ Only store near my house. It's so bad that I'm actually thinking about going to the Orange Bowl.
Why not? Tickets are going for only $1.
That's right; tickets for the Orange Bowl, one of the oldest and most prestigious bowl games, are going for the same price as tissue paper, Floam or a Hannah Montana Notebook if it were available at my favorite discount store.
Something tells me the Floam will be a more popular item this holiday season.
It's no secret that the Orange Bowl features the worst matchup of all the BCS games (Virginia Tech-Cincinnati), but when was the last time you heard of tickets being sold for a buck for any sporting event by scalpers? I'm fairly certain even the WNBA requires fans to donate more than four quarters before walking through the turnstiles.
The Orange Bowl is by far the cheapest ticket available of all the bowl games according to StubHub.com. Tickets for the Music City Bowl (Boston College-Vanderbilt) can be had for $1.99 while the Sun Bowl seems to be gauging fans for $7.50 to see Pittsburgh play Oregon State.
There are only two bowl games, the Rose Bowl and the BCS National Championship Game, where the lowest ticket price is over $100. There are 25 bowl games where the lowest ticket price is less than $50. You can see the Holiday Bowl (Oklahoma State-Oregon), my dark horse pick for best bowl game this season, for $12.
It's amazing that ticket scalpers, long despised by common fans that could barely afford tickets at face value, let alone the hiked-up prices they were hawking them for, are now becoming the best friend of fans looking for bargain tickets to big games.
Make no mistake about it, the Orange Bowl isn't offering tickets for a buck. Scalpers are. If you went through the Orange Bowl or Ticketmaster for tickets, the cheapest ones you'd find in the upper level are going for $120 if you include services charges. General parking at Dolphin Stadium is $30. Scalpers are selling premium parking passes for $5. Don't be surprised that it costs more to park your car than to watch the game. The price of a beer and hot dog, which scalpers unfortunately can't help you with, will probably cost about 10 times more than the ticket.
No one has been more critical of the outdated tradition of college bowl games than me and no one cursed ticket scalpers growing up more than I did, but it seems the combination of a bad economy and mediocre bowl match-ups has created a temporary opportunity for families to enjoy live sporting events at affordable prices. Sure, the 75th Orange Bowl might not be as exciting as many of its predecessors, but how many chances will you have to take a family of four to a BCS bowl game for less than $10, parking included?