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WVU football: More than 2,000 tickets sold for Orange Bowl after first day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University has already sold more than 2,000 tickets from its allotment of 17,500 for the Jan. 4 Orange Bowl at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

WVU Director of Sports Marketing Matt Wells said the early sales are from season-ticket holders working on the priority deadline and the general public.

The deadline is Wednesday and Wells said the sales numbers should jump then.

"I would say right now it's probably in the middle of the reaction to the Sugar Bowl and the reaction to the Fiesta Bowl, which would make sense," Wells said. "It's not quite as easy to get to as Atlanta was, but it's easier to get to than Phoenix was."

Wells said in addition to the season-ticket holders, who received order forms last month, the public was allowed to purchase from one of the seven types of tickets WVU sells.

Beginning Sunday night, the public could buy the $99 tickets and request an upgrade if one was available when the priority requests were met.

Wells said more than 750 people bought the $99 tickets and most requested an upgrade.

WVU has 4,772 of the $99 tickets available in the price range of $75-$225.

Wells said WVU was given 2,386 tickets for $75, 1,000 for $110, 1,440 for $120, 1,582 for $155, 3,616 for $165 and 2,704 for $225. Wells said WVU students can buy tickets for $110 in the lower level in the end zone. More than 100 have already been sold.

Both WVU and Clemson received 17,500 tickets and can't return any to the bowl. Both schools are responsible for the cost of unsold tickets. When the Mountaineers played Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, the athletic department had to absorb more than $1 million in unsold tickets.

The allotment includes tickets for the WVU marching band, traveling party and friends and family of players.

WVU, which gets $2 million from the Big East for a BCS bid and about $2 million to cover travel, is trying to avoid a similar debt this time. Tickets can be purchased through the school at 1-800-WVUGAME or at

"The important thing is we encourage all Mountaineer fans who want to attend the game to buy their tickets through the Mountaineer Ticket office," Wells said. "It certainly helps the program from a financial standpoint and also helps us from a reputation standpoint given conference realignment and going to a new conference in the future.

"There will be new bowl games we'll be affiliated with in the Big 12 and Mountaineer fans are known as a group that travels well and supports that team. If we can show that again this year, that's one more feather in our cap as we move to the Big 12."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at or 304-319-1142. His blog is at


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