According to TickPick, this Saturday’s matchup between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens is shaping up to be the most expensive ticket for a regular season college football game on record. The get-in price is $626, with the most expensive seat costing as much as $5,233.
That might sound like way too much money (it is) but you can see why fans could talk themselves into it.
Tennessee actually has a chance this year
Rivalries aren’t quite as heated when one side is trash. The Vols' past five losses to Georgia have been beatdowns with an average score of 41 to 13, and they haven't won since 2016.
But this year, Tennessee is not trash. In fact, one might argue they are very not trash, possessing the most impressive resume of any team in the country and bonafide Heisman frontrunner in Hendon Hooker at quarterback. Because this matchup hasn’t been a fair fight in some time, fans are apparently very excited for what hopefully won’t be a blowout.
This is basically a playoff game
These teams have played since the 1800s and this is the first time both are ranked in the top 5.
The Bulldogs and Volunteers are both undefeated, but there’s only one spot available for the SEC East in the conference championship game. It’s very possible the team that wins this game will make the playoff even if they were to lose in the SEC championship game. The losing team will have a much tougher road to the playoff, however (although much crazier things have happened).
For two fanbases that already hate each other, the bragging rights for a game like this are priceless*.
*But at least $600 to experience live from probably an obstructed view seat.
Fans get to watch an unstoppable offense vs. an immoveable defense
Tennessee has the third-best pass success rate in college football, Georgia is the third-best team at stopping the pass.
Tennessee is sixth in the nation at finishing drives, and Georgia is second in the nation at preventing teams from finishing drives.
You get the idea.
Vols head coach Josh Heupel’s RPO offense has helped Tennessee shred through four opponents ranked in the top 25. But last season, they were held to just 17 points at home. This Vols squad is a different animal entirely, but it’s not out of the question that Kirby Smart has something special in store for this game.
Either way, this is a game that will tell us a ton about two teams that have been dominant on one side of the ball (and still pretty damn good on the other, in the case of the Georgia offense and Tennessee defense).
With the total hovering around 65, it appears sportsbooks are expecting the offenses to have the advantage.
Also, inflation exists.
I don’t understand basic economics but this feels like something worth noting.
The aftermath of the last-second Tennessee win against Alabama was nothing short of a mass chaos event. Legend has it the goalposts are still laying dormant at the bottom of the Tennessee River, plotting their revenge.
What was unquestionably the game of the year has created unique hype for this matchup that is definitely driving ticket prices up.
If you are a person considering going to this game instead of booking a roundtrip flight to Europe or having a Chipotle burrito every week for a full year (math checks out, not medical advice), maybe consider sitting this one out.
As it stands, Georgia is favored by 8.5 points. They objectively have a stronger roster than Tennessee and are playing at home. It’s entirely plausible they could blow Tennessee out.
This won't be these teams' last high-caliber matchup, either
While this is the first really good game between these teams in a long time, it almost certainly won’t be the last. With the resources Tennessee has and how good the offense has looked, they should be able to bolster their roster with talent from the transfer portal to stay very competitive for years to come.
On the other hand, if you’re just balling right now and money is not an object, congrats and totally go to this game, it’s going to be sick.
(Photo Credit: James Gilbert / Contributor, Getty Images)