MANHATTAN — Kansas State and Michigan are both having trouble selling their full allotment of 11,000 tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
K-State spokesman Kenny Lannou said Monday that the school has sold roughly 6,000 tickets to the Dec. 28 game. The Detroit News reported last week that Michigan had sold 5,600 tickets from its allotment, and had already decided to donate 4,500 back to the bowl game.
K-State advertised bowl tickets at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday during timeouts of its basketball game against Gonzaga, and tickets remain on sale at its athletic web site. They can be purchased for anywhere from $25 in the upper deck to $95 in the lower levels.
Though bowl ticket sales are down from the past two years, when K-State sold out its allotment for the Cotton Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl in pre-orders alone, Lannou said K-State is still expecting 10,000-15,000 fans to attend the game. The Wildcats are well known for their traveling fan base, and should receive good fan support at Sun Devil Stadium.
Still, it isn’t all that surprising to see lower fan interest for this bowl game.
Michigan played in the Sugar Bowl two years ago, then the Outback Bowl last year and will now play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The Wolverines have gone from an 11-win season to eight wins and now seven wins during that time. Throw in a 5-0 start this season, and it’s easy to see why Michigan fans might opt to save their money for a future bowl trip.
K-State ended the season on an upswing, winning five of its last six games, but this bowl trip resembles the one it made a year ago. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is the Fiesta Bowl’s little brother — some who made it out to the Phoenix area last year understandably aren’t enthused about returning for a middle-tier bowl.
And it’s not always easy for schools to sell tickets when cheaper prices are available elsewhere. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl tickets are as low as $15 at Stub Hub.
Nebraska and Georgia are facing similar difficulties selling tickets to the The Gator Bowl. The Omaha World Herald reported earlier this month that Nebraska fans were showing little to no interest in attending the game. Georgia’s athletic director described fan reaction for the game as “lukewarm,” adding that it had sold half its ticket allotment.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Alamo Bowl announced Monday that it is sold out of tickets for the Texas-Oregon matchup.
Time will tell how many fans turn out for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but with the game less than a week away it’s clear K-State and Michigan will have tickets left over.
Michigan’s Gardner still hurting — Michigan coach Brady Hoke says quarterback Devin Gardner is still slowed by a turf toe injury.
Hoke says if the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl was on Monday, freshman Shane Morris would take snaps for the Wolverines against Kansas State.
The coach says Gardner, who is wearing a protective boot, would have to practice by Wednesday to play in Saturday night’s game. Hoke says Gardner had a setback and met with doctors last Friday.
Morris was 5 of 9 for 65 yards with one interception in two games this season.
Hoke says kicker Brendan Gibbons won’t be with the team in Arizona because of a family matter. Matt Wile will kick in the bowl game as he did against Ohio State after the team said Gibbons was out with an injury.