Mon Dec 15 06:24pm EST
Quite a few folks around the 'sphere -- Deadspin, FanHouse, even the sports blog of the Chicago Sun-Times -- have had a good time with a TV news fluff story from last Monday that reported a whopping 24 tickets sold to the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise:
As of Monday afternoon the University of Maryland says it's sold about 16 tickets to the game. The University of Nevada says it's sold 8 so far.
That was a week ago. And as much fun as it is to imagine two 7-5 teams traveling hundreds of miles from home to play their hearts out on freezing blue turf in a completely empty stadium save a few of their parents two days before New Year's, Nevada assistant athletic director Chad Hartley assured me via e-mail today that the numbers aren't quite as dire as all that:
We’ve sold about 100 tickets so far, but that number and the news report you’ve linked are misleading. The schools playing in the game, Nevada and Maryland, only received the $50 seats to sell to fans. Ticket prices for the game range from $18 to $150 but only the $50 seats are available through the schools. To get tickets in the other price ranges, you have to buy tickets directly from the bowl game or via www.idahotickets.com. The vast majority of our fans going to the game have gone that route, to get the cheaper tickets (or the better seats).
While he wouldn't provide an exact number, Maryland media guy Shawn Nestor wrote that, although Maryland "realize(s) the ticket sales numbers won't be quite as high due to the proximity of the bowl and the state of the current economy" -- ah, the economy; what malady can't it explain? -- he'll be very anxious to compare the Terps' eventual turnout with that of other ACC teams playing in Boise in December over the past five years. The team is excited about the trip!
So there you go: Even if it doesn't match the announced 27,000 for last year's Fresno State-Georgia Tech tilt, the Humanitarian Bowl can expect at least a couple hundred people on Dec. 30. And then the ACC will never have to worry about filling this slot again.