The Florida Gators have sold just 6,500 of the 17,500 Sugar Bowl tickets the school was contractually obligated to purchase, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The sluggish sales are being blamed on the price of tickets, which are significantly higher than those in recent Gator history.
It's costing fans between $135 and $200 to watch the Gators take on the Louisville Cardinals. ""We certainly understand the financial commitment it takes to travel to and attend a game like the Sugar Bowl," said UF official Mike Hill in a statement expressing support for the fans. "We are looking forward to celebrating a special football season with them in the Big Easy as we bring in the New Year and close the curtain on a very memorable 2012 season."
This is not the first time Florida has struggled to sell tickets to a bowl game. The 2010 Sugar Bowl's lacking sales were credited to fan disappointment over missing the national championship game, despite it being Tim Tebow's final game. The fans who did attend saw the Gators rout the Cincinnati Bearcats, 51-24 with Tebow breaking two BCS records, throwing for 482 yards and picking up 533 total yards.