The Chicago chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association had more than 200 tickets for a pregame event and the Badgers football game against Notre Dame at Soldier Field on Saturday.
Emphasis on had.
Those tickets were claimed in less than 24 hours and a waitlist of a few hundred people started.
The interest in the Badgers' first football meeting with Notre Dame in 57 years is "through the roof," said Tom Ulrickson of the WAA Chicago chapter. The group is expecting a large gathering of alumni from Wisconsin and other surrounding states for its pregame festivities at a sports bar that's about a 15-minute walk from Soldier Field.
Tickets for the 11 a.m. game are sold out on the primary market and you're probably going to have to open the wallet pretty wide to get some from secondary sellers.
On StubHub, the average ticket price was more than $400. Illinois buyers accounted for 31% of sales, with Wisconsin and California next at 12%.
The cheapest resale ticket available through Ticketmaster on Tuesday morning was $222, not including fees. A seat at the 50-yard line in the first row of the second deck was going for $1,152 plus around $220 in surcharges.
UW and Notre Dame originally signed up in 2017 for two neutral-site games: one at Green Bay's Lambeau Field in 2020 that was canceled because of the pandemic (the schools later agreed to a 2026 return to Lambeau) and Saturday's game in Chicago.
Under that contract, the teams agreed to split the ticket allotment equally — giving each about 25,000 for the game in Chicago — and share revenues. UW charged between $110 and $275 for its tickets in the seating bowl and $325 and $425 for club seats.
The Badgers first offered them to donors and season-ticket holders as part of their renewals for 2021, then made available what was left to Chicago-area alumni.
Both schools also had 3,000 student tickets as part of their ticket pool. UW sold those for $50.
Notre Dame fans might have a slight cheering advantage in Chicago on Saturday, according to a Fan Forecast by ticket marketplace Vivid Seats, which has seen an average selling price of $395, according to a spokesperson. The company is predicting a 55-45 split of fans in favor of the Fighting Irish using an algorithm of its data.