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Baylor, UCF returning more than 15,000 unsold 2014 Fiesta Bowl tickets

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Travel costs and other hurdles are limiting ticket sales for the Bears and Knights.

Stephen Dunn

Baylor and UCF both fell short of selling out their 17,500-ticket allotments to the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. The Bears are returning about 5,000 tickets, according to the Waco Tribune, while the Knights are returning approximately 10,000, per the Orlando Sentinel.

UCF officials said several weeks ago that they would need to sell 13,000 tickets to break even on the trip, and that's despite a $2.4 million bowl allowance from the AAC to help cover costs. Fiesta Bowl ticket prices aside, the cost of round-trip plane tickets -- more than $700 in some cases -- is no doubt a factor keeping sales low.

At one point, UCF appeared in line to receive a bid to the Sugar or Orange, both of them far more manageable travel destinations. But Northern Illinois' loss to Bowling Green in the MAC title game knocked the Huskies out of the BCS picture, ultimately sending the Knights west.

Baylor, meanwhile, will "probably break even" on the trip, according to associate athletics director Nick Joos. The Bears received a $2 million bowl allowance from the Big 12.

These problems are certainly not limited to just Baylor and UCF. A lot of schools end up falling short of sales goals, and this year that group includes Ohio State and LSU. But there is at least one game where filling seats is of no concern whatsoever -- the demand for Rose Bowl tickets from Stanford and Michigan State fans is very high.

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