Entertainment

Mississippi, where college baseball tickets are like gold

More than 6,300 fans at Pete Taylor Park watch a game against the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. They could probably sell three times that many tickets this weekend. (Photo by Joe Harper/BigGold Photography)

The toughest ticket in Mississippi sports history?

If not, tickets to this weekend’s Ole Miss-Southern Miss NCAA Super Regional baseball series in Hattiesburg are certainly the first sentence of any conversation on the subject.

Tickets with a face value of $60 are up to $1,800 on StubHub. It goes back to the ancient economic principle of supply and demand. In this case, the demand for tickets is much, much greater than the number of tickets available for sale. The seating capacity at USM’s Pete Taylor Park is just over 5,000. Southern Miss could probably sell 15 or 20 thousand tickets if there were that many available.

Ole Miss (35-22) and Southern Miss (47-17) play Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Games 1 and 2. A third game, if necessary, will be played on Monday at a time to be determined (by ESPN, of course). The winner of the series goes to the College World Series in Omaha.

Jeremy McClain

Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain says, “The bottom line is we can’t sell tickets to some people who have been very supportive of our baseball program.”

Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter is in the same boat, if not an even deeper one. Under NCAA rules, Ole Miss was allotted 600 tickets. About 250 of them are committed to the families of players and coaches, leaving about 350 to be sold to Ole Miss fans. This will give you an idea of ​​how insufficient that number is: Ole Miss baseball has more than 136,000 followers on Twitter, about 8,200 subscribers. Carter said the Ole Miss ticket office received 3,500 requests for Super Regional tickets, even though people knew how unlikely it was to get tickets.

So, tickets with a face value of $60 are sold online for several hundred dollars. secondary ticket markets. So people are celebrating getting a ticket on the various Internet message boards as if they were celebrating a national championship.

Therefore, both Ole Miss and Southern Miss are organizing different places where their fans can watch the game in a crowded environment. Ole Miss will hold watch parties at the school’s ballpark. Southern Miss will have watch parties at Spirit Park on the school campus, about a half-mile from Pete Taylor Park, where a 20-foot video wall will be installed for the ESPNU broadcast.

No doubt Mississippians by the thousands will choose to watch the game in their own living rooms in air-conditioned comfort.

McLain was asked if Southern Miss is considering an expansion of Pete Taylor Park, or “The Pete” as it’s often called, where the Golden Eagles broke season ticket and attendance records last spring.

“We’re exploring it,” McClain said. “Actually, we have been looking at it for several months. We are in the early stages and we have some problems with the expansion due to the surroundings of the stadium. But we’re looking at it and we feel like there are some ways to add quality seating.”

That won’t help disappointed fans this weekend, though any sporting director, or entrepreneur, will tell you that when demand far outstrips supply, it’s a good deal.

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