Phoenix not bowled over by title game

By John Marshall

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

Even when teams don't travel so well — like UConn last week — the locals tend to fill in the empty seats consistently, including this season, when a record number of ticket packages for all three games were sold.

"It historically has helped a lot because in the BCS we've had teams from every conference," Junker said. "Some teams are bigger draws than other — people would be kidding themselves to say otherwise — but we have people from everywhere here, so there's some connections to almost every part of the country."

This season has been another good one for the desert bowls.

The Insight Bowl, which got a boost from tie-ins to the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences, sold nearly 70,000 tickets for the game between Iowa and Missouri. The Fiesta Bowl faced an uphill climb with UConn being so far away and its fans stuck in inclement weather, but attendance still topped 67,000, thanks to an always-strong contingent of Sooners fans making the trip.

And, with two teams new to the championship and two of the nation's most exciting offenses, the BCS title game has been off the charts.

The championship has been sold out almost since the teams were announced. Tickets with a face value of $300 are going for thousands of dollars and one pair reportedly was listed at $15,000 each — or about the cost of a 2011 Ford Explorer.

Ticker broker StubHub.com even had to suspend tickets sales for a while after one seller who didn't have enough tickets to fill orders.

In all, there will be over 70,000 fans will be inside University of Phoenix Stadium Monday night and thousands more in the area for the game, between 10,000 and 15,000 from Auburn alone, by one count.

"It's bigger than the Super Bowl," Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes said.

That's true for anyone connected with Oregon or Auburn. For the rest of Phoenix, it'll just be Monday.

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