Huskers fans not so eager to go to bowl vs Georgia

BY ERIC OLSON AP SPORTS WRITER OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Those Nebraska fans who famously travel anywhere to support the Big Red apparently are staying home in droves from the Capital One Bowl game against sixth-ranked Georgia. The university's ticket office has unloaded less than one-third of its 12,500-ticket allotment for Tuesday's game in Orlando, Fla., and brokers have sold seats for as little as $9. Large blocks are available for far below face value.
Factors for the tepid interest? Could be the expensive air fares to Florida, the fact that No. 23 Nebraska is playing at the same bowl site for the second straight year or maybe all those road games this year left a lot of folks tapped out. There also appears to be a crisis of confidence among the fans since the Huskers' 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. "The general consensus is that the Huskers are going to get killed, so what's the point?" Omaha radio sports show host Michael Grey said. Brian Wragge, owner of the Arena Sports Bar & Grill, said he's hoping people who decided to skip the bowl trip come to his place to watch the game. Wragge said the Arena was filled to capacity of almost 300 for the Big Ten championship game. Since that disappointing night, he said, patrons haven't been as eager to talk Nebraska football; the Huskers are 10-point underdogs to a Georgia team that almost knocked off Alabama to get into the BCS championship game. "It's tapered enthusiasm," Wragge said. "It was a different feeling going into the Wisconsin game. There was a lot of talk. People were very excited we were going to win that game - the expectation was to win that game. Now we just want to have a good showing." Holly Adam, Nebraska assistant athletic director for ticketing, said the school has sold "right about 4,000" tickets after selling 7,000 for last year's Capital One Bowl matchup against South Carolina. Seats sold through the university are priced at $87 and $93. Georgia has reported its ticket office has sold more than 10,000 tickets. Capital One Bowl spokesman Greg Creese had no comment, citing bowl policy to not disclose ticket sales unless there is a sellout. Some, but not many, Nebraska fans have gone through the secondary market to buy tickets at a cheaper price. Brett Franksmann, owner of Red Zone Tickets in Omaha, said demand is less than it was last year. "I attribute it to being disappointed in losing to Wisconsin and not having the chance to play in the Rose Bowl," Franksmann said. "I myself had a Rose Bowl trip booked, and we were going to take my whole family out there. After the Wisconsin game, we canceled and decided not to go to this game." Franksmann said Red Zone lost more than $10,000 on last year's bowl because he couldn't get rid of all the tickets he bought outright for face value. This year he shouldn't get hurt, he said, because he's selling Capital One Bowl tickets on a consignment basis only. Nebraska's fan base has long had a reputation for traveling en masse - never more so than when 30,000 Husker faithful showed up at Notre Dame Stadium back in 2000. This year, tens of thousands invaded the Rose Bowl for September's game against UCLA, and half the crowd at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., was dressed in red for the game against Northwestern. There also were large followings at Ohio State and for the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. Ticket giant StubHub, on the other hand, reports "fairly high" demand for Capital One tickets, spokeswoman Shannon Barbara said. She said her brokerage has sold more than 8,000 tickets, compared with about 6,000 for last year's game. About 250 people with Nebraska addresses have bought through StubHub for Tuesday's game, she said, while more than 2,500 have been sent to fans in Georgia. Chad Carr, owner of TicketExpress in Omaha, said he figured only a Rose Bowl bid would entice large numbers of fans to open up their wallets for yet another trip. "When you go and look at those three road losses, and the fashion we lost those games in, combined with the same destination as we had last year, it just kind of led to the perfect storm of a little bit of disinterest in this particular game," Carr said. © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More Sports

High School Basketball

Cougars snap five-game losing streak

Newnan’s boys basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak in Region 3-AAAAAA on Friday, pulling out a 54-48 victory on the road ... Read More


High School Basketball

Heritage School sweeps Holy Spirit

The Heritage School basketball teams proved Thursday they can win games even when they don’t play their best. Heritage swept a doubleh ... Read More


High School Basketball

Trinity boys rout Young Americans

Trinity Christian’s boys basketball team got a chance to rinse out the taste of a disappointing loss to Bethlehem Christian this week ... Read More


Newnan able to pull out first county swim title

Newnan High swim coach Courtney Stillwell had plenty of strategy Wednesday at the annual Coweta County Tri-Meet at the Summit YMCA. The vete ... Read More


High School Basketball

Lady Cougars unable to claw back against Pebblebrook

Newnan basketball teams entered Tuesday's Region 3-AAAAAA contests with Pebblebrook hoping its home-court advantage might just work in its f ... Read More

High School Swimming

County meet chance for bragging rights, state times

All three local high school swim teams have the same agenda tonight when they return to the Summit Family YMCA for the annual Coweta County ... Read More