Louisville has already beaten Florida – in ticket sales

Heavy underdog Louisville might not be able to beat third-ranked Florida on the field in the BCS Sugar Bowl on Wednesday night in New Orleans, but the Cardinals apparently will swamp the Gators at the turnstiles.

According to Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Gator Nation is so fired up about its meeting with the Big East champs that Florida fans have bought fewer than 7,000 tickets for tonight’s BCS game. Louisville has sold nearly three times that amount for its first Sugar Bowl appearance.

True, those numbers represent only tickets bought officially through the universities, and the cheapest Sugar Bowl ticket price is steep: $135. Fans can grab tickets for much lower prices by using secondary outlets such as StubHub or just by walking the streets in Louisiana.

Yet the sluggish ticket sales continue a Florida trend, Bianchi says. Spoiled Gators fans are not happy unless the team is playing for a national championship, something this year’s team lost out on when it dropped a 17-9 decision to Georgia in November.

Even last year, when Florida played Ohio State in the Gator Bowl in nearby Jacksonville, just a two-hour drive from Gainesville, the school returned half of its allotment of 15,000 tickets. And Ohio State had just hired a coach by the name of Urban Meyer, although the former UF head coach did not lead the Buckeyes in the bowl.

Meanwhile, Louisville fans could not be happier to be in New Orleans. U of L reportedly has sold about 15,000 of its allotted 17,500 tickets. Estimates from the Big Easy are that there should be close to 20,000 Louisville fans in the Mercedes Super Dome on Wednesday night.

By the way, on the field, Florida is a 13.5-point favorite tonight. The game is on ESPN.

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