A scheduling decision could be why ticket prices for the College Football Playoff championship game are plummeting

Ticket prices for the 2019 CFP national championship game are 57% lower than they were for last year's title game between Alabama and Georgia Bulldogs.

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Ticket prices for the 2019 CFP national championship game are 57% lower than they were for last year’s title game between Alabama and Georgia Bulldogs.
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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

  • The undefeated heavyweights Alabama and Clemson are meeting in the College Football Playoff for the fourth time in as many years and in the national championship game for the third time in that span.
  • The 2019 national championship is Monday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California – thousands of miles from both Alabama and Clemson – and ticket prices have plummeted.
  • According to TickPick, a ticket reseller that doesn’t charge added fees, ticket prices for last year’s title game in Atlanta, between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs, were 57% higher on average.

With wunderkind quarterbacks, explosive offenses, and two of the best defenses in the game, the 2019 national championship on Monday night between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers – the two most dominant programs in college football of late – promises to be one for the ages.

But you wouldn’t know it looking at ticket prices for this year’s event.

According to TickPick, a ticket reseller that doesn’t charge added fees, the average listing price for a ticket to the 2019 national championship is at $1,011, with a minimum price – or “get-in” – of $177.

On average, ticket prices for last year’s title game between the Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta were 57% higher, with a “get-in” of $430 and an average listing price of $2,374 on the day of the event.

Many have cited fan fatigue as a cause for the dip in ticket prices this year – after all, the two sides are facing off in the College Football Playoff for the fourth time in as many years and in the national championship for the third time in that span.

But according to TickPick, the average listing price of tickets on the day of the 2017 national title game, between Alabama and Clemson, was $2,966, one year after the Crimson Tide took down the Tigers for the title, 45-40.

Read more: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The stars of the first national championship game between Alabama and Clemson

So what’s the major difference between that 2017 matchup and this year’s contest? About 1,850 miles.

The average distance between Alabama’s and Clemson’s home fields and the 2017 game site at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, was 579 miles, per Darren Rovell. This year, the national championship will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, a whopping 2,282 miles from Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and about 2,570 miles from Clemson Memorial Stadium. According to TicketIQ, this is the longest average distance that two teams have had to travel to get to the national championship site in a decade.

For the die-hard Crimson Tide and Tigers fans willing to embark on a cross-country expedition, a heavy discount to watch Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence face off under the brightest lights is a sweet deal. But the Bay Area is known to be a costly place to visit, and many fans have likely opted to avoid the added costs of hotels and meals in one of America’s most expensive cities.

And with no West Coast team in the national championship, most Bay Area locals have no stake in the game – people who live near Levi’s Stadium are unlikely to turn out to watch two teams from the Southeast compete.

Ultimately, scheduling this game in Santa Clara could be disastrous not only for the Clemson and Alabama fan bases but for those seeking to profit off the contest. As kickoff rapidly approaches, this national championship is increasingly likely to become one to not sell out.