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SEC Fever

LSU hype and Johnny Football drive Texas A&M ticket prices to crazy heights: The highest in U.S.

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Johnny Manziel
The burgeoning legend of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has made an already big game even bigger. Texas A&M Athletics/Facebook
Texas A&M
This is the SEC game that Texas A&M's 12th man fans have been waiting all season for. Courtesy of Aggie Athletics
Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M

Combine the ever-growing legend of Johnny Football, Texas A&M's unexpectedly strong start and SEC fever . . .  and what do you get?

The highest-priced ticket in all of college football this weekend (no game anywhere in the country is averaging a higher resale price than Texas A&M's Kyle Field clash with LSU) and one of the hottest ducats ever seen in College Station. And you thought the "historic" prices for that last University of Texas/Texas A&M Thanksgiving game were going to stand up through time?

Please, less than a year later another game is threatening to wallet surpass it. 

Yes, even ESPN sticking A&M-LSU with that strangely early 11 a.m. local time kickoff (if this isn't a Saturday night matchup, what is?) hasn't been able to douse the frenzy. Good seats — anything below the upper decks — have been averaging $500 to $600 a ticket, according to Patrick Ryan of The Ticket Experience, a Houston-based ticket broker.

 "We could see the get-in price for the Sam Houston State game — of all games — exceed $175 each," Ryan reports. 

Ryan sold one pair of tickets — section 208, row one, what he calls "the best seats in the stadium" — for $1,000 each.

Long before Texas A&M jumped out to a 5-1 start and redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel barged into the Heisman Trophy race with 24 touchdowns in six games, this LSU matchup loomed as the premium game on the Aggies' first SEC home schedule. Texas A&M is playing No. 1 Alabama on the road and Arkansas never came close to being the team anyone expected. The Florida game was big, but no one foresaw the Gators as a potential national championship contender that early in the season.

The Aggies could have been middling along in the first year of Kevin Sumlin and this LSU game still would be a high-priced ticket.

"Last year (when the A&M came into the season with high expectations) was great, but all the games started collapsing with the team woes," Ryan tells CultureMap. "This year people were really excited for the big SEC matchups so prices were high (going in) but have held for the most part."

Ryan says it's "very rare for a matchup like this to maintain its hype."

Even a Friday afternoon bomb threat that caused the evacuation of A&M's campus and triggered a careful search of campus buildings hasn't abated the ticket fever.

If Manziel and the Aggies can stand up to No. 6 LSU and Les Miles — or pull off another upset along the way — Kyle Field is set to become an even more difficult ticket for the remaining home games. Including one you'd never expect.

"We could see the get-in price for the Sam Houston State game — of all games — exceed $175 each," Ryan reports.

The get-in price is the lowest price you can reasonably expect to find any seat (even an upper deck one) on the resale market. Yes, Johnny Football is very good for at least one local economy.

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