CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With the Orange Bowl one week away, it appears West Virginia University will have to eat the cost of several thousand unsold tickets for the nationally televised game.
WVU sports marketing director Matt Wells said Tuesday the university ticket office has sold about 7,700 of the 17,500 tickets it received for the Jan. 4 Bowl Championship Series game between the Mountaineers and Clemson Tigers.
But unfortunately for WVU, there's no return policy for unsold tickets.
"Basically, anything we don't sell we are obligated to and responsible for purchasing," Wells said.
So the university will have to foot the bill for any of the unsold tickets — which range in price from $75 to $225 — it still has by kickoff.
Wells said it's still unclear how much that total cost might be.
"Too early to really give a number because there's so many different price levels," he said. "You could end up with 1,000 tickets at the $125 level or 1,600 tickets at the $75, so it wouldn't be accurate to make a guess just yet."
That will eat into the estimated $2.2 million of Big East bowl share revenue the university is expected to receive for the BCS bowl game.
Wells also said unsold tickets won't necessarily go unused.
"Obviously, there's tickets we use for internal uses such as for the band, players' families, and other groups," he said.
Those groups will fill between 1,200 and 1,500 seats for the Orange Bowl game.
The university also has teamed up with a national non-profit organization to donate some tickets to active and former members of the military and their families.
"We partnered with the Veteran Tickets Foundation, and they are helping us distribute some of our unused tickets," Wells said. "They are helping us distribute about 3,000 of our unused tickets."
Tickets are being distributed to members of the West Virginia National Guard and their families, as well as active duty military members and veterans in Miami through the program.
Individuals buying tickets had the option to donate some tickets to the military donation program, so some of the 3,000 dedicated to that program are included in the 7,700 tickets sold so far.