The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Be a College Football Fan

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College football fans may need to start saving their pennies if they hope to attend any games this season. The cost of a single ticket and one night in a hotel for home game weekends tops $300 in many cities, according to an analysis by travel website Trivago and Vivid Seats, an online ticket marketplace.

“It’s not uncommon to see hotel price spikes during college football season, especially considering many of the teams analyzed are located in smaller, more remote cities and towns that often lack adequate accommodation for major events and large crowds,” said Jeremy Crider, manager of U.S. public relations for Trivago.

The most expensive cities for fans of the Top 25 Associated Press ranked teams were determined by looking at the average hotel room price for 2014 home-game weekends (according to Trivago data) and the median 2015 home-game ticket price (based on Vivid seats data).

Steep hotel room rates are driving up costs for fans of many teams. In some cases, the average hotel room is roughly double the cost of a ticket. That means that people who want to attend Florida State, Stanford, Michigan State, or University of Wisconsin home games may be able to save big by finding alternative accommodations. Meanwhile, Arizona Wildcats fans win on both counts – the average ticket price is an affordable $37 while the typical hotel room runs $109, making it the cheapest city on the list.

On the other hand, people who want to see the Fighting Irish or Buckeyes play need to be prepared to cough up some serious cash; the average ticket price for both teams tops $200. Considering that those schools have some of the most devoted fans in college football, those prices aren’t that surprising. Some might even consider them reasonable. In 2011, Bloomberg calculated that the cost of being an Ohio State “superfan” was $16,804 (including a season ticket package for home games and travel costs for road games, for a family of four).

Here are the 10 most expensive cities for college football fans.

10. Florida State Seminoles (Tallahassee)

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AP pre-season rank: #10

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Tallahassee: $221

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $72

Total cost: $293


9. Oklahoma Sooners (Norman)

AP pre-season rank: #19

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Norman: $160

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $167

Total cost: $327


8. Baylor Bears (Waco, Texas)

AP pre-season rank: #4

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Waco: $180

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $153

Total cost: $333


7. Ole Miss Rebels (Oxford, Miss.)

AP pre-season rank: #17

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Oxford: $237

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $102

Total cost: $339


6. Ohio State Buckeyes (Columbus)

AP pre-season rank: #1

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Columbus: $131

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $210

Total cost: $341

5. Clemson Tigers (Clemson, South Carolina)

clemson football fans

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AP pre-season rank: #12

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Clemson: $217

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $125

Total cost: $342


4. Auburn Tigers (Auburn, Ala.)

AP pre-season rank: #6

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Auburn: $197

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $173

Total cost: $370


3. Georgia Bulldogs (Athens)

AP pre-season rank: #9

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Athens: $190

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $195

Total cost: $385


2. Alabama Crimson Tide (Tuscaloosa)

AP pre-season rank: #3

Average home game weekend hotel cost in Tuscaloosa: $234

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $200

Total cost: $434


1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (South Bend, Ind.)

AP pre-season rank: #11

Average home game weekend hotel cost in South Bend: $214

Average costs of a home-game ticket: $349

Total cost: $563

Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS

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