IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa fans’ lukewarm feelings about the Pinstripe Bowl have led to a trickle — not a flood — of ticket purchases one week after the Hawkeyes were selected to play in the New York City bowl game.
With the game nearly two weeks away, Iowa fans have bought around 1,000 tickets of the school’s 7,500-ticket allotment, according to Iowa senior associate athletics director Matt Henderson. Another 1,000 tickets have been dispersed among university staffers, their families and to the players, each of whom receive six tickets. But that leaves Iowa and the Big Ten eating about 5,500 tickets to the Dec. 27 bowl game against Boston College.
“Most bowls, by Tuesday [after the bowl selection] you have a good idea of where you’re going to be [numbers-wise],” Henderson said. “We still are selling tickets, which is different from most bowls.
“It’s no secret that our fans kind of thought and were put in their minds that Nashville was going to be the site and so they are educating themselves on options in New York. So we anticipate a great contingent in Yankee Stadium. We know a lot of it is going to come from the East Coast, our fan base out there. That’s the vibe that we’re getting from our fans out there. It won’t be as significant from Iowa.”
In pre-selection conversations, Iowa officials told their Pinstripe Bowl counterparts they expected between 7,000 and 10,000 Iowa fans attending the game with the majority of those fans coming from the New York City area. Both Henderson and Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said about 20,000 University of Iowa alums live in that region.
Many of those fans will buy from the bowl itself or the secondary market, which hurts Iowa’s number of tickets sold. Henderson said the department hopes to sell another 1,000 tickets.
Per the Big Ten’s agreement with the Pinstripe Bowl, its representative is mandated to accept 7,500 tickets. The league provides a $2.225 million allowance to Iowa, more than any other non-New Year’s Six bowl game except the Holiday. In turn, the league’s teams pool the bowl payouts. After allowances and expenses like the cost of unsold bowl tickets are subtracted, the league equally syndicates equal shares of the surplus to its 14 members plus itself.
At Iowa, there’s a difference in buying patterns this year. In most years, fans buy tickets within 48 hours of the selection. This year, Henderson said, the buying spurts are lasting longer because fans are taking longer to decide whether or not to go.
A super-majority of Iowa fans wanted the Hawkeyes to play in the Music City Bowl, which is about a nine-hour car ride from Iowa City. When the Music City Bowl — which selected one spot before the Pinstripe — picked 9-3 Northwestern instead of 7-5 Iowa, most fans elected to stay home rather than travel to New York. Some fans still have hotel rooms in Nashville and plan to go there without attending the game.
“Your fans voice where they want to go and sometimes that works out,” Henderson said. “It’s kind of like the last time we went to Indianapolis for the [2015 Big Ten Championship Game]. An incredible excitement. We know what we could have had in Nashville.
“We’re very pleased with being at the Pinstripe Bowl, very excited about that. We’d love to be at 10,000, but it’s going to take a little bit to get to that. Those who will be there will create a great environment. Those that watch from home will be yelling from there.”
John Mosley, senior manager of college development for the New York Yankees/New Era Pinstripe Bowl, was in Iowa City on Sunday promoting the game. Mosley said the bowl could help build ties between the Hawkeyes and their alumni in the New York City area.
“It’s a chance, an opportunity for the schools to reconnect with those people that they may have lost and haven’t seen their team travel,” Mosley said. “New York City is by far the Mecca of places to go. It’s a destination spot. I think schools as well as administrators find that New York is a great center to bring their schools back together. The Yankees is a great glue for that.”
The Pinstripe Bowl kicks off at 5:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. CT) Dec. 27 on ESPN.
The post Iowa’s Pinstripe Bowl ticket sales tepid for New York trip appeared first on Land of 10.
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