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Iowa-Nebraska tickets costly, difficult to find

Posted September 2, 1999

By Jim Ecker
Gazette sportswriter

IOWA CITY -- How much would you pay to see Saturday's college football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska?

$100? $200? More?

"I've heard anywhere from $80 to $300. It may be more than that," U of I ticket manager Pam Finke said Wednesday.

A personal ad in Wednesday's Gazette offered a pair of tickets in the north end zone at Kinnick Stadium for $75 apiece. Another pair of seats was offered at $65 each, location not specified.

Ticket Express, a ticket agency with locations in Nebraska, listed an 800 number in The Gazette's personal ads, seeking tickets. Shane, an employee at Ticket Express, declined comment on supply and demand.

The game has been a sellout of 70,397 for months. "We probably could have sold the stadium again," Finke said.

Finke said she refunded 3,000 checks through her office from people seeking tickets to the game.

Nebraska fans follow the Cornhuskers religiously. There have been unofficial estimates that 20,000 Nebraska fans will be at Kinnick.

Iowa and Nebraska have not met since 1982 and have not played here since 1981. The Cornhuskers are ranked fifth in the AP poll and have won three national titles in the last five years.

$5 for Hayden

Iowa will raise about $100,000 for the Hayden Fry Scholarship Fund from Saturday's game by charging an extra $5 per ticket.

Iowa raised the price of single-game tickets for this event from $28 to $33, with the extra $5 earmarked for the Fry Fund. The $5 surcharge was just for single-game purchases and was not applied to the cost of season tickets.

Finke said Iowa sold approximately 20,000 single-game tickets at $33, which figures to about $100,000 for the fund.

"Our goal is to raise $500,000 to endow two full scholarships," said U of I assistant athletics director Mark Jennings. "This game will give it a boost."

Jennings said Iowa already has raised more than $125,000 for the scholarship fund through private donations. Proceeds from Saturday's game will push that amount to about $225,000.

Jennings said these will be "captains" scholarships, with one each on offense and defense. Players will not receive additional monies but will have the honor of receiving a Fry Scholarship.

Fry retired as Iowa's football coach last November after 20 years on the job.

Tailgate with Alford

Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford will mingle with fans at home football games this season and make live reports on the pre-game radio show.

Alford will shoot baskets with fans at the Iowa basketball tent in Hawkeye Village next to the U of I baseball field for about two hours before Saturday's game in addition to his radio reports.

"It's just his way of being out there and meeting people and having a little fun on football Saturdays," said Rick Klatt, an assistant athletic director in charge of marketing.

The ratings game

Iowa and Iowa State have cracked the Top 20, but it's not good.

The Hawkeyes are ranked 17th among the 20 worst college football teams in America, according to a story in Playboy magazine by Larry Linderman. The Cyclones are 12th.

"Kirk Ferentz takes over a team with a shoddy defense and an atrocious offense," Linderman wrote.

Northwestern is No. 1.

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