Demand for Rose Bowl tickets reaching loony levels

Matt Cozzi
Iowa takes the field for the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015.

If calling the University of Iowa Athletics Ticket Office on Monday afternoon and continuing to get a busy signal wasn't symbolic of the demand for Rose Bowl tickets, what is?

Phone lines are jammed and demand is high as the quest to purchase postseason tickets is underway following Sunday's announcement that Iowa (12-1) will play Stanford (11-2) at 4 p.m. Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Interest from Iowa fans trying to attend the game — the first Rose Bowl appearance by the Hawkeyes since 1991 — is approaching unprecedented territory.

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The official UI bowl tour, produced by the UI Alumni Association and Winebrenner Red Carpet Travel, offered two four-night travel packages. Those are sold out already. One package was valued at $3,195 per person and the other was $1,995 per person.

Iowa is allotted 22,000 tickets for the game, as is Stanford. Rose Bowl Stadium holds 92,000 people.

The priority deadline for university donors, season-ticket holders and students is 5 p.m. Thursday. Prices range from $150-185. Other fans need to fill out a request to be placed on a waiting list. The UI Athletics Ticket Office will accept requests past the priority deadline if part of the ticket allotment is still available, but that prospect is unlikely at this stage. The UI Athletics Ticket Office will notify fans of their order status by noon on Dec. 14.

Other sanctioned options include a limited number of tickets from the Rose Bowl itself, and those will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday via TicketMaster.

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Then, there's the secondary ticket market and alternative travel options for those not committing to a package through a travel agency or another travel arraignment.

According to multiple commercial search engines, fans should expect to pay around $1,200 at least if they pay for their ticket, hotel and airfare on an individual basis. The lowest price on StubHub as of early Monday night is $620. The highest is $14,970. SeatGeek prices out seats for as low as $367, however. Other games pale in comparison to these numbers. The cheapest ticket on StubHub to the Orange Bowl is $147, while the cheapest for the Cotton Bowl is $70.

Airfare is reaching four-figure numbers, as well. If you leave on Dec. 30 and travel back on Jan. 2, for example, that will cost at least $891 depending on the airline.

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Be aware of the speculative market and unauthentic tickets.

According to the Better Business Bureau, "if you can verify the  legitimacy of the tickets before the game, that is recommended."

Regardless, Pasadena is going to be filled with black and gold.

And cost is nearly no barrier for some who wish to see the Hawkeyes' first Rose Bowl in 25 years in person.