Trying to get some Poinsettia Bowl tickets for a Utah fan's last-minute roadie or Las Vegas Bowl tickets as a BYU fan's pre-Christmas stocking stuffer?

It may not be as difficult or as pricey as one might think, especially compared to last year.

For Ute fans, the Dec. 20 Poinsettia Bowl — in San Diego against Navy — is a much closer and more appealing location than last year's Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. Ticket prices for this year's Poinsettia Bowl are in about the same range as last year's Armed Forces Bowl, but travel costs and times should be considerably less.

And for Cougar football fans, the Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl marks a third straight postseason visit to Sam Boyd Stadium. And while the game has been deemed a sellout since mid-October, tickets to the '07 BYU-UCLA pairing are easier and less costly to purchase now than at this time last year for the '06 BYU-Oregon contest.

Following are availability and cost updates for both bowl games. Local fans also may want to consider local outlets, including print and online classified ads. A caution — some trying to resell tickets are seeking extreme amounts, as evidenced below.

Utah: Poinsettia Bowl

Bowl-ticket demand will certainly not exceed supply at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, which can seat nearly 71,000 for NFL games with the Chargers and has a 54,000-seat availability for San Diego State (although the Aztecs average about half that).

The inaugural Poinsettia Bowl in 2005 drew almost 36,000 for Navy's 50-31 victory over Colorado State, while nearly 30,000 watched TCU's 37-7 drubbing of Northern Illinois last year.

With a ticket allotment of 10,000, Utah is currently taking pre-orders through today for Poinsettia Bowl tickets, with priority given to Crimson Club members and seating assignments to be made by Saturday. The $45 and $35 ticket prices are $10 less than what one would find purchasing tickets through the Poinsettia Bowl's own online site.

The bowl's prices reflect a $10 per ticket increase on general-public sales after Nov. 1. A $33 ticket for upper-deck seating currently is available through the bowl's site.

Already having exceeded its 10,000-ticket allotment, Navy suggests on its online ticket site that fans attending the game instead purchase a $35 ticket to sponsor a traveling midshipman or enlisted person and their families.

Ute fans may consider online ticket brokers or auctions as purchasing alternatives.

Online bidding at eBay.com for Poinsettia Bowl tickets on Thursday started as low as $1 a pair and as high as $155. Completed bidding ranged from $20.50 a pair to $120 for a set of four tickets.

Online ticket broker stubhub.com offered upper-deck tickets between $24 and $89 a seat, field and plaza for $38 to $235 a seat, and club and press tickets for $60 to $154 a seat.

BYU: Las Vegas Bowl

Last year's BYU-Oregon Las Vegas Bowl drew 44,615 to Sam Boyd Stadium, the largest crowd to watch a sporting event in Nevada state history. Cougar fans who couldn't get tickets through BYU's allotment sales snatched up Oregon's tickets, which were sold publicly from the Ducks' online ticket site.

Tickets were easily reselling in the triple-digit figures, including the temporary bleachers set up in the north end zone.

Many people are trying to cash in from last year's profitable experience, including the Las Vegas Bowl officials themselves. The temporary bleachers were replaced with elite-service, high-priced seating. The bowl also offered — and sold out of — several premium multiticket packages.

BYU fans both in Nevada and Utah joined scalpers in early 2007 speculation purchases, with the Vegas Bowl selling out halfway into the football season, well before the Cougars had wrapped up their second straight conference title.

However, once 6-6 UCLA was announced as the Cougars' opponent, local ticket interest and resale values dropped, particularly in comparison to last year. Tickets are selling — as evidenced by BYU making headway not only on its own 12,000-ticket allotment but also selling an undisclosed amount of UCLA's allotment.

More on UCLA's tickets in a moment.

Similar to last year, BYU is selling a $50 sideline ticket for $75, with the amount including shipping, handling and service fees and what athletics administrators call "a small premium to enhance the football program" that helps defer costs of sending players' wives, band members and others of the postseason contingent to the bowl game.

Last year, Cougar Club members snatched up BYU's available tickets, besides those set aside for faculty, staff and student purchases. This year, ticket sales have passed through the first offering to the Cougar Club, then to season-ticket holders and now to the general public.

It's hard to find a Las Vegas Bowl ticket for sale right now near original face value — except if you're a UCLA booster, season-ticket holder or student. In fact, the Bruins are offering bargain-basement deals — a 40 percent discount to said groups.

If you're a UCLA donor or season-ticket holder, you can buy a $50 sideline ticket for $30. If you're a student, the cost may be as low as $15. And if you put a $100 deposit on a season ticket for 2008, UCLA will give you a Las Vegas Bowl ticket free.

But before Cougar fans think they'll get discount tickets for the game — and maybe resell some to cover their costs — please note that UCLA's ticket site has not yet opened for general-public sales.

Alternative purchasing can be considered through local print and online classifieds as well as the likes of stubhub.com and eBay.com. The latter auction site has bids for a pair of tickets starting at a penny to a high of $448. Recent eBay purchases have been for as low as $99 a pair and as high as $398.

As of Thursday afternoon, stubhub.com was offering some 350 tickets, ranging from $165 to $600 for a sideline ticket, $104 to $150 for an end zone ticket, and $97 to $165 for a reserved ticket in the north corners.


Utah and BYU bowl tickets

POINSETTIA BOWL — UTAH VS. NAVY, DEC. 20

Ticket levels: Club, press — $55 each; field, plaza, loge — $45 each; view — $33

Tickets available at bowl's Web site: Yes, at poinsettiabowl.net

Tickets available at Utah's Web site: At utahtickets.com, pre-orders are being taken through today, club tickets for $45 and field plaza for $35

Tickets available on stubhub.com: From $60 to $152 for club/press; $38 to $235 for field/plaza; $44 to $89 for view

Tickets available on eBay.com : Starting bids as low as $1 for a pair of tickets and as high as $155 a pair

LAS VEGAS BOWL — BYU VS. UCLA, DEC. 22

Ticket levels: VIP — $100, sideline — $50, end zone — $30, reserved — $20

Tickets available at bowl's Web site: Sold out at lvbowl.com

Tickets available at BYU's Web site: At byutickets.com, sideline tickets at $75 each are now available to the general public

Tickets available on stubhub.com: From $156 to $600 for sideline/VIP; $104 to $150 for end zone; $97 to $165 for reserved

Tickets available on eBay.com : Starting bids as low as $.01 for a pair of tickets and as high as $448 for a pair

NOTE: Ticket values stated above may not include shipping, handling and service-fee costs. Look closely at each listing for additional costs.


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