More than 20,000 University of Miami football fans descended on Charlotte, North Carolina, last weekend to cheer on the Hurricanes in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.
They likely had a great time during their stay in Charlotte — except for maybe during the game itself, when the Canes were dominated by No. 1 Clemson 38-3.
Now, even more fans will have the opportunity to watch the Hurricanes in the final game of 2017 at the Capital One Orange Bowl, where UM (10-2), ranked 10th in the final College Football Playoff rankings, will face CFP No. 6 Wisconsin (12-1) at 8 p.m. Dec. 30 at Miami’s home field of Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami and Wisconsin were each allotted 14,350 tickets by the bowl, and both programs are expected to sell out of their supply.
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Hurricane Club members (UM boosters who donate money to the program) and season-ticket holders must turn in their ticket requests by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“As anticipated, there’s been great interest in this game,’’ said UM senior associate athletic director Jesse Marks of the 11,000 Hurricane Club members. “Any time we can play in front of our home crowd and give them another game in our back yard there’s going to be high demand. It happens to be in our home stadium, which is pretty cool.’’
Because the game is produced by the Orange Bowl, UM season-ticket holders will not have the same seat locations as they would for a regular-season game, Marks explained. “So, we’ll do the same as we did for the ACC Championship Game,’’ he said. “We get a block of seats and we rank them according to the Hurricane Club giving level.’’
In other words, those who give more money are allocated tickets first, and so on, down the line.
“We try to take care of all our members with the allotted seats we have,’’ Marks said. “It’s a special game at a special time of the year and we want to get people excited about it.’’
Orange Bowl officials are confident they’ll sell out.
Tickets purchased through the Orange Bowl start at $150, with the average price in the secondary market at $302, according to a Forbes.com article written by Miamian Darren Heitner.
“We anticipate having a great crowd that night,’’ said OB chief executive officer Eric Poms of Hard Rock, which seats 65,326. “Obviously you have Miami in the game, and there are people already here so it bodes well for local participation.
“To match that with one of the most passionate fan bases not just in the Big Ten but in the country,’’ Poms added of Wisconsin Badgers fans, “should make for a big night. We have tickets remaining, but hopefully here in the next stretch we’ll finish those tickets.’’