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NCAA Championship: Alabama-Clemson Matchup Most Expensive Ticket Yet

Alabama-Clemson Championship Game Most Expensive Ticket Yet

The 2017 National Championship Game is set to be the most expensive yet, not just because of the two teams facing off, but because of where they're playing.

The average distance to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium is 583 miles from both Clemson, South Carolina and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At an average listing price of over $2,195, and the cheapest ticket going for $900, the Alabama–Clemson rematch is almost three times more expensive than last year's game in Glendale, Arizona. That game had an average travel distance of over 2,000 miles from each school. eBay Inc's NASDAQEBAY Stubhub cheapest tickets are going for $830, but prices are rising.

This year, without less of a need for a flight, the only other major expense for many fans will be a hotel, and based on data from Priceline Group Inc NASDAQPCLN, it won’t be much of an expense. Currently, there are two-star hotel express deals near Raymond James stadium for under $70 a night, the cheapest option in market by almost $50.

There was a similar dynamic played out during last year's historic World Series when Cubs fans drove the 345 miles to see their team win its first World Series in over 100 years. That's about 200 miles less than Clemson and Alabama fans would travel, but still enough to have a serious impact on the market.

The lower quantity means that less fans are selling, which is a testament to the perseverance of Alabama fans. With 16 national championships on their resume, they're the most successful program in college football history.

Clemson, on the other hand, has one national title, which came in 1981. Unlike the current format, their Orange Bowl win didn’t come with post-game confetti and a trophy to hoist. In the pre-BCS era, teams had to wait for the AP and UPI polls to come out the following week.

In the 35 years since their Orange Bowl victory, the direct and indirect benefits of winning a national championship have ballooned, and ticket prices have followed suit. For the 1982 Orange Bowl, the face price for a ticket was $15. This year, the cheapest face price for a ticket is $500.

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